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Football supporters could return to stadiums before Christmas, according to reports.
Ministers are said to have drawn up plans which would allow fans to go and watch Premier League and EFL games in December.
The proposals would allow spectators to go to stadiums once the national lockdown is lifted.
But would only apply in parts of the country where coronavirus infections are low.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport has reportedly passed the blueprints to the Cabinet Office.
England’s second national lockdown is due to end on December 2, although speculation is mounting over what restrictions will replace it.
The Government is yet to agree to the plans, Sportsmail reports.
But sources are said to be encouraged football is finally being put on the same level playing field as other activities.
It follows heavy criticism over socially distanced audiences being allowed to visit indoor theatres, music and performance venues, while football fans can’t.
Campaigners have been calling for supporters to return to football stadiums.
The new plan would see spectators living in Tier 1 and 2 areas – with the lower levels of Covid-19 restrictions – let into grounds.
Certain conditions would be in place, according to reports.
Steve Curwood, Fleetwood Town’s chief executive, told Sportsmail: "It would be a great Christmas present for fans and clubs to see everyone enjoying the match days once again.
"It is essential we get our fans back as soon as possible."
Government could ban household mixing over Christmas even after lockdown ends
But the picture is complicated by claims a new four-tier system – with a new set of rules – is being considered by the Government when the lockdown is lifted.
This means it is not clear which grounds would be in the lower tiers.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned this week it is "too early" to say if lockdown will be lifted on December 2.
And Dr Susan Hopkins, a director of Public Health England, warned the tier system could be tightened.
She told a Downing Street press conference tier 1 had shown “very little effect” in suppressing the virus.
Dr Hopkins said the higher tiers appeared to be working well before the second lockdown was introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on November 5.
- Premier League
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