Wimbledon finals set for full capacity, at least 40,000 fans for Euro 2020 semis and final at Wembley
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to England’s “Freedom Day” but despite the fact Wimbledon finishes before July 19, both the men’s and women’s singles finals are set to be played in front of a full crowd on Centre Court as part of the government’s pilot programme to welcome fans back to sporting arenas.
Serena Williams in action during the 2019 Wimbledon women's final
The men and women’s Wimbledon singles finals are set to be played in front of a full capacity in July, while at least 40,000 supporters will attend the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a four-week delay to restrictions being eased in England.
England’s “Freedom Day” had been pencilled in for June 21 but Johnson said on Monday that a recent rise in coronavirus cases meant step four of the government's roadmap would have to be postponed.
With July 19 the new date proposed, Wimbledon will already have concluded on the weekend of July 10-11, but the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed both finals will operate at full capacity as part of the government’s pilot programme to welcome fans back to stadia.
The tournament, which begins on June 28, will also commence with 50 per cent ground capacity.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We want to gather further evidence on how we can open up all big events safely, and for good. The expansion of trials of the NHS App and Lateral Flow Testing will mean that bigger crowds will be able to attend a limited number of major sporting and cultural events early this summer as part of our Events Research Programme.
"In the next few weeks this means more fans enjoying the Euros and Wimbledon, and some of our biggest cultural and sports events.”
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Wimbledon was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, and organisers are expected to announce further details on Wednesday.
Formula One’s British GP at Silverstone on July 18 could also welcome a full crowd as another test event.
‘Euro 2020 remains a test event’
On Monday, Johnson confirmed Euro 2020 matches at Wembley will keep their status as pilot events, and it was later announced at least 40,000 fans would be allowed for the final four Euros fixtures at Wembley - including both semi-finals and the final.
"We will continue to pilot events such as Euro 2020 and some theatrical performances," said Johnson.
Aficionados ingleses en las gradas de Wembley durante el Inglaterra-Croacia
Image credit: Getty Images
The national stadium is currently operating at a quarter-full capacity, with a crowd of 18,497 present on Sunday to watch England’s win over Croatia.
It will host England's group games against Scotland and the Czech Republic under the same restrictions, but the second last-16 match (June 29), both semi-finals (July 6, 7) and the final (July 11) will welcome more supporters. The first last-16 match at Wembley (June 26), which cannot involve England, will remain at the current capacity.
The fixtures fall under the government’s “events research programme”, with fans requiring proof of a negative Covid test or that they have received both vaccinations against the virus.
The extension is to be reviewed by the government by July 5.