The decision will provide a major boost to governing bodies, which have been forced to postpone events or hold them behind closed doors during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as individual clubs that have been trying to survive without revenue from ticket sales.
Outdoors stadiums in tier 1 areas – deemed to be medium risk by the Government – will be allowed to hold up to 4,000 socially-distanced fans or half of their maximum capacity, depending on which is fewer.
Outdoor stadiums in tier 2 areas – viewed to be high risk – can welcome up to 2,000 spectators or half of their maximum capacity, depending on which is fewer.
Indoors stadiums in tiers 1 and 2 will be allowed to host up to 1,000 fans or half of their maximum capacity, depending on which is fewer.
But both indoor and outdoors stadiums in tier 3 areas – seen as very high risk – will have to continue to hold events behind closed doors.
The Prime Minister warned, however, the Government’s coronavirus tier system will be strengthened when the national lockdown ends on December 2, meaning more areas will fall into higher tiers than previously.
During a virtual statement regarding England’s exit from its national lockdown to the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon, the Prime Minister said: “The hard truth is that we are not there yet. We must get through winter without the virus spreading out of control. Our winter plan is designed to carry us safely to spring.
“I can confirm that the national restrictions will end on December 2 and they will not be renewed. Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume and shops, personal care and the wider leisure sector can reopen.
“In tiers 1 and 2, spectator sports will be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing. Later this week, we will announce which areas will fall into which tier – I hope on Thursday – based on analysis of cases in all age groups and the rate of which cases are rising or falling.
“I’m sorry to say we expect more regions will fall, at least temporarily, into higher levels than before.
“2020 has been a tragic year – winter will be hard – but we have turned a corner and an escape route is in sight. We must hold tight and pull together for one final push to the spring.”
In an official statement issued via the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This is a big step forward for sport.