Prime Minister announces lifting of all restrictions in July

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that crowds are expected to return to sporting events in England from July 19 without restrictions.

Earlier in the evening, the Prime Minister announced his intention to end all lockdown restrictions on COVID-19.

This means there could be full stadiums for the start of the Premier League campaign for Newcastle United and the league season for Middlesbrough.

Sunderland and Hartlepool United open their League One and League campaigns at home respectively, where they are expected to be greeted by a packed house.

The decision, which will be voted on on July 12, would end social distancing and the mandatory use of face masks.

This is good news for football clubs that have had no door revenue for over a year.

While Boro manager Neil Warnock has yet to handle a game in front of the fans, Sunderland’s Lee Johnson and Newcastle’s Steve Bruce once experienced the fan atmosphere before their seasons ended.

Dave Challinor managed to play three games at Hartlepool in front of reduced capacity crowds before the end of the season, one of which was their final National League play-off victory over Torquay United at Ashton Gate.

While there is no legal requirement for vaccine passports at some events, clubs can choose to use the service if they wish.