ALL major sporting events across England are returning behind closed doors as the system of government changes, placing Liverpool in Tier 3 – and only the Isles of Scilly remain at the lowest two levels
- Everywhere but the Isles of Scilly, level four or three has been reached under the government's recent Covid-19 restrictions to combat new strains of the virus
- This means that all sporting events will be held behind closed doors again
- Tier 2 regions had up to 2,000 spectators at sporting events
- This had seen Liverpool and Everton play home games with small crowds allowed
- But all football games and games in other leagues will return behind closed doors
Sports fans across England will be banned after the government placed most of the country under Tier 3 or 4 coronavirus restrictions.
Fans can only play games in Level 1 or 2 Regions – this is now only for the Isles of Scilly.
Until the restrictions were tightened, 10 clubs in the Premier League and EFL – including Liverpool and Everton – were able to accept supporters. Everton's home game against West Ham on Thursday night will be the first to be affected.
Sporting events across the country will return to behind-closed-door events, with the latest crackdown on Covid-19 being ranked three or four anywhere but the Isles of Scilly
Two thousand fans had been admitted to the last home games in Liverpool, but that now ends with the city returning to the third division
More than three-quarters of adults are now banned from team sports after the government placed another 23 areas in England in Tier 4.
Under the strictest restrictions of Covid-19, only under 18s and disabled people are allowed to participate in organized popular sports outdoors. Gyms and other indoor facilities must also be closed. Tier 4 now makes up 78.3 percent of the population.
Huw Edwards, General Manager of UK Active, said: “It's a moment on the edge of the cliff. The government must devise a plan to promote the physical and mental well-being of the country.
With the latest restrictions, all of England, with the exception of the Isles of Scilly, will be rated either Level Three or Level Four
"Without tailor-made financial support, we cannot keep the sector closed again."
Sports events in tier 2 can accommodate up to 2,000 spectators, sports events in tier 1 up to 4,000.
When the final tier restrictions were introduced on Boxing Day, only seven EFL clubs – Carlisle United, Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City, Bournemouth, Shrewsbury Town, Harrogate Town and Tranmere Rovers – were in the second tier, allowing 2,000 fans.
This proved short-lived, however, as the government narrowed down millions on Wednesday.
Areas that have moved up from level two to level three include Liverpool, Rutland, North Yorkshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.
Tuesday's Premier League game between Man United and Wolves in an abandoned old Trafford
It comes as outbreaks of the more virulent new strain, Covid-19, begin to destroy fixtures in football clubs.
Wednesday night's Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham was canceled less than four hours before kick-off after positive tests at Craven Cottage Club.
It came after the game between Everton and Manchester City was postponed on Monday night.
However, the Premier League has pledged to continue the season despite calling for a two-week break on the breaker to combat the rising number of cases within the clubs.
In the latest results from December 21-27, 18 positive tests were returned among players and club staff.
There have already been major disruptions further down in the football leagues. Seven of the twelve scheduled games in the first division were postponed on Tuesday evening.
The Premier League game between Everton and Manchester City was postponed on Monday
Three-quarters of England will be subject to the fourth stage restrictions from midnight and all remaining areas will be extended to the third stage.
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are already in the midst of their own gloom amid fears over the contagious "mutant" tribe that is in turmoil.
Mr Hancock told MPs, "Almost the whole country will be in Levels 3 and 4 … I'm afraid it's absolutely necessary based on the numbers we've seen."