England to allow fans at games based on risk of area

English officials will allow up to 4,000 soccer fans to attend Premier League games in person next month in areas with the lowest COVID-19 risk in the country. 

In the lowest-risk areas in England, known as “tier one" areas, a total of 4,000 fans or 50 percent capacity, whichever is lower, will be allowed to watch the outdoor games in person beginning on Dec. 2, officials announced Monday.

In “tier two” areas in the country, areas with slightly higher risk, 2,000 fans or 50 percent capacity at outdoor games will be permitted. Fans will not be able to watch the professional soccer games in person in “tier three” areas, regions with the highest risk. 

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Premier League matches have continued during the second lockdown in the country that was announced on Nov. 1, ESPN reported.

U.K. officials on Monday unveiled a three-tier regional system to categorize areas across the country amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the tiers corresponding to a medium alert, high alert and very high alert.

In tier one areas, where as many as 4,000 soccer fans will be permitted to watch games in person, officials are allowing a maximum of six people at gatherings indoors or outdoors, apart from with members of a single household. 

Retail stores will open, and bars, pubs and restaurants must close by 11 p.m.

The guidance between tiers for soccer matches will also apply to live performances, business meetings and more, although the limitations are set to be lower for indoor venues. 

The U.K. government is set to announce on Thursday which areas of the country will go into which tiers. The choice will be based on factors including an area’s number of COVID-19 cases, strain on health facilities and more, according to the BBC.