The UK government have laid out some detail on when the Premier League could return to action.
On Monday afternoon, they published a 50-page guidance document on how England will ease the lockdown measures currently in place, following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
‘Step Two’ of that plan includes “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact”.
There remains no confirmation of a fixed date for the return of the Premier League, although the government has provided some criteria that need to be satisfied first.
‘Step Two’ of their lockdown easing plan cannot be allowed to start until June 1 at the earliest, and only when ‘Step One’ has been executed satisfactorily.
As things stand, that would still keep the Premier League on target to complete ‘Project Restart’ in time for the previously discussed date of June 8, although this government update is a reminder that the country’s rate of infection could play a part.
“To aid planning, the Government’s current aim is that the second step will be made no earlier than Monday 1 June, subject to these conditions being satisfied. Until that time the restrictions currently in place around the activities below will continue.” – Extract from The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy
“The content and timing of the second stage of adjustments will depend on the most up-to-date assessment of the risk posed by the virus. The five tests set out in the first chapter must justify changes, and they must be warranted by the current alert level.” – Extract from The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy
The government’s latest announcement acts as an official confirmation of the fact that any Premier League return will occur after the Gameweek 38 deadline on Sunday, May 17.
We are still waiting for an update on what this means for the remaining FPL fixtures, as 92 of them will need to be played after the passing of the Gameweek 38 deadline if the season is to complete.
Meanwhile, the government document states that reopening Premier League and other football stadiums to crowds, “may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections”.
The announcement comes after Boris Johnson addressed the nation on the evening of Sunday, May 10.
As promised, there is more detail in this new document on issues communicated to the public on Sunday.
For those who want to read the document, YOU CAN DO SO HERE.