Boris Johnson confirms return of outdoor sport on March 29 - and gyms on April 12

The prime minister has confirmed that many outdoor sports will be allowed from March 29.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 4:19 pm
The prime minister

As we reported this morning, the PM said that from Monday, March 29, it would be possible to meet a limited number of people outdoors - and outdoor sport facilities like tennis courts, basketball courts and open-air pools could reopen. And organised sports could resume on that day.

This includes adult and junior football in organised settings.

It's reported that up to 10,000 fans will be allowed back into English stadiums in step three of the easing of England's coronavirus restrictions, which is planned for May 17.

Indoor sport facilities will reopen on April 12 but only for use by individuals and not larger groups.

Further easing of lockdown measures will follow in further steps in May and June - by which time the PM hopes everything will be able to reopen.

All easing of measures is subject to data on Covid showing it remains under control and there are no spikes.

Johnson said there was still a substantial threat from Covid but these steps were possible because of the recent lockdown and efforts to vaccinate large swathes of the population. He warned that lifting lockdown would lead to more cases, hospitalisations and deaths - and this would be the case whenever restrictions were eased.

Johnson said he wanted the release from lockdown to be 'cautious but irreversible'. "Outdoor activity will be prioritised," he said.

The PM said data on Covid cases would be reviewed before each step in the easing of lockdowns. He said the chief medical officer had advised that moving any faster than he had set out would be too big a risk.

Step one - March 8 - will see all schools and further education centres reopen. "Classrooms are the best places for our young people to be," he added.

More later...