Wimbledon finals to be played in front of capacity crowds

14 June 2021, 20:00 | Updated: 14 June 2021, 21:27

The Wimbledon finals will be held in front of a full-capacity crowd for the first time since 2019
The Wimbledon finals will be held in front of a full-capacity crowd for the first time since 2019. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The men's and women's Wimbledon finals will be played in front of full capacity crowds, the government has announced.

Both the women's final on 10 July and the men's final on 11 July will be contested in front of a full Centre Court in SW19.

Meanwhile, the Euro 2020 last-16 match at Wembley on 29 June, as well as the semi-finals and final in July, will be staged in front of a 50 per cent capacity crowd.

Wembley will play host to the largest sporting crowd in the UK in more than 15 months, with roughly 40,000 fans in attendance for the final four Euros fixtures at the stadium.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden revealed the government has identified up to 20 pilot events across sport and entertainment.

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"We want to gather further evidence on how we can open up all big events safely, and for good," Mr Dowden said.

"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."

Last year. many sporting events were cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including Wimbledon.

Some returned as the virus abated, but many, such as some matches in the FA Cup, were played without a crowd.

The Wimbledon finals and the Euro 2020 last-16 match, semi-finals and final are the latest in a series of so-called 'pilot events', designed to gather evidence on the risks associated with large events.

Spectators at these events, which have included the FA Cup final in Wembley and a club night in Liverpool, will likely have to provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative test.

So far the pilots have largely been successful, with only 11 people testing positive following four test events in Liverpool that between them saw 13,000 attendees.

The new pilot events after 21 June were not the only announcements made by the government.

While most restrictions - such as mask-wearing and legal limits on socialising - will remain in place as Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to the next stage of the roadmap out of lockdown, there are a number of key changes.

In many instances, care home residents will be able to go on visits outside of the care home without the need to isolate afterwards.

They will also be able to choose an "essential caregiver", who will be able to visit them even if the resident is isolating.

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Outside of care homes, the rules surrounding weddings and other commemorative events such as wakes are also being relaxed.

Instead of a blanket cap of 30 guests, the maximum number of guests will now depend on how many the venue can safely accommodate.