Premier League games at Arsenal, Fulham and West Ham on Wednesday will be played behind closed doors with London set to go into Tier 3
The capital will be under the most severe form of Covid-19 rules from just after midnight on Tuesday night following a spike in cases, meaning sporting events will once again take place without crowds.
That means only one session of the PDC World Darts Championships at Alexandra Palace, on Tuesday, will take place with 1,000 fans in attendance as planned.
Arsenal’s match with Southampton on Wednesday will be played behind closed doors as London moves into tier three Covid-19 restrictions from just after midnight on Tuesday night
What are the Tier 3 rules?
- Indoor entertainment venues such as cinemas, theatres and bowling alleys must close;
- Pubs, restaurants and cafes must close except for takeaway;
- Shops and hairdressers and salons will be allowed to remain open;
- Groups of six will be allowed to meet outdoors only;
- Crowds at live events will be banned;
- People should avoid travelling out of, or into, Tier 3 areas unless it is unavoidable;
- People from separate households cannot meet indoors and the rule of six applies outside.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock briefed MPs in London and the South East about the increase in Covid restrictions during a conference call on Monday afternoon ahead of a format announcement.
The restrictions will come into effect at 0001 on Tuesday night into Wednesday.
Under tier three, which is already in force in large swaths of northern England the Midlands, sports events must take place without any spectators.
The move will affect teams in the Premier League, EFL and National League in and around the capital that had started to re-admit up to 2,000 spectators to their matches in the past fortnight.
Among the football fixtures affected this Saturday will be Crystal Palace vs Liverpool in the Premier League plus Brentford vs Reading and Millwall vs Nottingham Forest in the Championship.
The decision to plunge millions of Londoners into a Tier Three shutdown just days before Christmas came amid warnings that coronavirus cases in the capital are ‘soaring off the chart.’
MPs were warned this morning that there was ‘exponential growth’ in cases in London’s boroughs and some of the major commuter areas like Hertfordshire and Essex, which will also go into Tier 3.
Meanwhile Kent, already in Tier 3, could face a further tightening of restrictions with a surge in cases that has yet to fall.
After the meeting, Ealing Central Labour MP Rupa Huq tweeted: ‘Worst kept secret ever confirmed London and Essex (except Tendring) and Herts (Watford/ Hertsmere/ Broxbourne) from 1 min past midnight Weds.
‘London and bits of Essex and Hertfordshire to enter ”standard tier 3” from Wednesday confirmed by Matt Hancock on call for MPs from London and South East Next review on 23rd Dec – to be weekly.’
More to follow.