Accrington Observer

Lancashire’s Blast blow in easing delays


SOME major events of the English sporting summer are set to be exempt from strict capacity limits despite the Government’s decision to delay the easing of all remaining coronaviru­s restrictio­ns.

Sports venues across England had been hoping to open their doors to spectators in financiall­y viable numbers from next Monday, June 21, but a decision has been taken to delay the final step on the Covid recovery road map for at least four weeks due to a rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of the virus.

However, between 10 and 15 sporting and cultural events over the next four weeks are set to be included in the Government’s extended Events Research Programme (ERP) and therefore be exempt from the strict capacity limits which came into force at step three of the road map on May 17.

England’s group games at Euro 2020 had already been granted ERP status while the men’s and women’s finals at Wimbledon, which starts on June 28, will be played in front of a full house.

And Formula One’s British Grand Prix over the weekend of July 16-18 is understood to be under considerat­ion for test event status.

For those events which are not part of the ERP, the rules will remain as they have since May 17, and stay in place until July 19 at the earliest.

It means Lancashire’s hopes of playing their Vitality Blast match against Yorkshire at Emirates Old Trafford in front of a full house on July 17 are dashed – despite all the tickets being sold.

“The club is currently assessing the detail following the announceme­nt and we will contact 2021 Vitality Blast ticket purchasers with further informatio­n as soon as we can,” read a statement from Lancashire.

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