An imminent return of professional sport remains uncertain as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his proposal to relax the restrictions on coronavirus lockdown.
Last night, addressing UK’s four nations, Johnson launched a three-part plan to kick-start the economy and reopen society. No mention has been made of professional sports, however, throwing doubt about when the sporting calendar returns.
Johnson announced that the government has eased some of the social restrictions, including the outdoor exercise limit. Since Wednesday, people will play sports with ‘household members,’ with certain tennis courts and golf clubs expected to reopen this week – at the discretion of the governing bodies.
Further specifics of the plan are set to be discussed later today in Parliament. It’s predicted that the government will declare that some professional athletes will start the initial phase of restricted community training later this week.
It comes as talk about a restart date for the Premier League and UK racing is beginning to rising.
Premier League clubs are scheduled to meet today to discuss ‘Project Restart’ plans, aiming to achieve a resumption date for June to end league proceedings.
The EPL has submitted new recommendations on the feasibility of community training to the government, as well as additional guidelines relevant to both player and staff monitoring, underlining that matches should be played under peak health conditions.
Both player members and administrators will hear the conversation before Football officials meet on Thursday with Secretary of Culture Oliver Dowden. It is confirmed that PM Johnson supported the EPL proposals, as a further step to lift the spirit of the nation during pandemic times.
The Racing Group’s resumption is also expected to meet later today to look at the steps that can be taken to bring the sport back.
Since 17 March the sport has been suspended but suggestions have been made that the sport could resume later this week. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has, however, remained cautious in setting a date for the resumption.
Last week BHA COO Richard Wayman talked to Sky Sports Racing and explained: “I don’t think it would have been the right thing for us to come out and name a date, it would have been an arbitrary date. Our aim is to ensure when we’re given the green light we’re ready to go.
“One of the worst things that could happen for racing or any sport is for it to resume then after a few weeks have to stop because we haven’t got it right. We’re really dependent on the work of Dr Jerry Hill the chief medical adviser of the BHA who’s working with other sports to ensure when it does resume it does so in a safe way.
“We need to make sure we’ve gone through every possible step to make sure that the return is a safe one.”