What do new coronavirus restrictions mean for Norwich City and sport in our region?
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The number of people allowed to meet socially is being reduced from 30 to six in England from Monday amid a rise in coronavirus cases across the country.
But what does it mean for sport in our region?
When will I be able to go and watch Norwich City play?
Norwich City have announced that plans for spectators to return have been put on hold as a result of the announcement. The club was due to start a ticketing procedure on Monday but that has now been delayed until further details and guidance is received from the EFL and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
The club had hoped to allowed for 8,000 fans to attend their approaching home games but these plans are on hold. Season ticket holders will be entitled to rebates and will have access to free online streams of all home games and midweek away games for fans.
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What about King’s Lynn?
As it stands the Linnets would have to start the season on October 3 at home to Yeovil behind-closed-doors as Lynn are considered to be playing at an ‘elite’ level.
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Whether the league now decides to push back the start date to a time when fans may potentially be allowed back in remains to be seen. Linnets owner Stephen Cleeve told the EDP before Wednesday’s government announcement: “The game cannot start without fans. As much as anything else it is for financial reasons. We have to be told soon so that we can start planning and getting our practice runs in to ensure everything is right. We need to know sooner rather than later – last minute is no good to anyone because even as it stands now it is going to be difficult to handle.”
When is this likely to change?
The government will keep under review whether fans will be able to return to sports stadia from October 1 but pilots will not be able to take place in areas that have high coronavirus incidence rates.
The government is to reduce the number of people that can attend sporting events to pilot the safe return of spectators to 1,000 in light of the increase of the number of coronavirus incidences.
Can I go and watch any football team this weekend?
Yes, but it depends what level they play at. Non-League clubs from steps three to six – effectively Southern Central Premier, Isthmian, Thurlow Nunn and Anglian Combination League for our region’s teams – can continue as before up to a maximum of 150 spectators, although people must not go to games in groups of more than six unless their household has more people in it or they have formed a support bubble with another household that exceeds that.
The FA plan to meet with clubs at steps three and four on Friday and steps five and six on Monday to discuss the other implications of Wednesday’s announcement.
Can I play for my club this weekend?
Yes. Organised grassroots sport will be able to continue in a Covid secure way to help people stay fit and healthy. This includes organised team sports, parkrun (due to return in late October) and exercise classes in gyms and leisure centres.
Can running clubs meet up?
Athletics and running activity will not be affected by the new restrictions on the number of people allowed to meet up. The government has confirmed to Sport England that organised sports and activities which have been through return to play protocols will be allowed to continue as before.
Club and group activity and licenced events will be able to continue as previously as they are taking place in Covid-secure environments – but they must continue to adhere to guidance.
What’s the running club guidance?
Clubs, groups and coaching/leading activity can take place in unlimited numbers if it is within a Covid-19 secure environment, otherwise the limit of groups of six (including coach or run leader) remains. Each coach is able to train 12 people at one time so in a club/group setting, multiple coaching/training groups can be run if the requisite number of coaches/leaders are present.
Can I meet up to run with friends?
Yes – but informal activity or that outside of a Covid secure environment must still be within two household units or groups of no more than six.