Relaxed rules give green light to two Silverstone races

London (AFP) –


Silverstone will be able to host two Formula One Grand Prix in August as new quarantine exemptions for major sporting events in England were announced by the British government on Sunday.

Champions League and Europa League football, international cricket, golf tournaments and the world snooker championships are also among the events that will benefit.

"The British summer of sport is back on," said culture Secretary Oliver Dowden in announcing the measures.

The easing of rules will see some sports stars and their support teams, as well as international film and TV stars, directors and producers, exempt from quarantine, if they are essential to the event or production.

Under the new rules, sporting authorities, event organisers and the screen industry will need to follow the government's COVID-19 secure guidance and put in place "stringent protocols" to ensure they have a minimal impact on public health.

Exempted individuals will have to live and work in controlled "bubbled" environments and events will continue to take place behind closed doors

"I'm very pleased that we've agreed exemptions from border health measures for a limited number of athletes and events staff," added Dowden.

"I am grateful to the sports governing bodies who have worked closely with us to put in place stringent protocols to ensure these events can go ahead safely.

"It will mean that fans of the British Grand Prix, international cricket and Champions League football can look forward to yet more sporting action on home soil - a further boost to our national recovery."

The UK has been the worst hit country in Europe by coronavirus with over 44,000 deaths.

Most travellers to the UK at the moment must quarantine for two weeks. However, from 10 July, people arriving in England from dozens of countries deemed "low risk" will not have to isolate.

The 2020 Formula One season got underway in Austria on Sunday after a delay of three months on Sunday.

Silverstone will host two races in back-to-back weekends on August 2 and 9.

England's three Test series against West Indies begins this week to kick off the return of international cricket with a further three tests against Pakistan to come.

Manchester City should now be able to host Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, while Manchester United and Wolves could host LASK Linz and Olympiakos in the returns legs of the Europa League last 16.

Both European competitions will then be completed on neutral venues with Lisbon hosting the Champions League from the quarter finals and the Europa League final stages being held in Germany.