Premier League's statement on the return of fans to stadiums

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In a widely trailed announcement, government laid out plans for a revised - and harsher - version of the three-tier restrictions which will be applied to on-trade operators after 2 December, with curbs expected to remain in place until spring 2021.

The news is a huge boost to professional sports teams up and down the country who have been without their main income stream since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March.

The Prime Minister confirmed to parliament that the tier system will be stricter and become a "uniform set of rules", which means no negotiations will take place with certain areas of the country on varying restrictions.

"I am sorry to say we expect that more regions will fall at least temporarily into higher levels than before", he said, in reference to a tougher tiered system. Weddings and worship will also resume, while a controversial 10 p.m. curfew on hospitality will be pushed back to 11 p.m. Previously, pubs and restaurants in Tier 3 were allowed to stay open if they provided substantial meals. In Tier 2, hospitality must close unless it is operating as a restaurant and in Tier 1 it will be table service only.

The Government has also announced that travellers arriving in England will be able to end their quarantine period with a negative coronavirus test after five days from December 15.

The official line is that people in tier one can meet people from other tier one households, both indoors and outdoors.

And then stadiums in areas placed in tier 3 will have to continue to hold events behind closed doors.

Mr Johnson has been under pressure to scrap the lockdown from lawmakers in his Conservative Party, where many have threatened to vote against any new restrictions they consider overly damaging to the economy without more evidence of their effect in stemming infections. Of these, 16,668 are in England, 844 in Scotland, 808 in Wales and 342 in Northern Ireland.

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The British drug-maker said it will have as many as 200 million doses by the end of 2020, around four times as many as United States competitor Pfizer.

"What we don't want is to throw caution to the wind and allow the virus to flare up again", he added.

"Now I know that many of us want and need Christmas with our families but now is not the time to let the virus rip for the sake of Christmas parties".

AstraZeneca said on Monday its Covid-19 vaccine could be as much as 90 per cent effective, giving the world's fight against the global pandemic a new weapon, cheaper to make, easier to distribute and faster to scale-up than rivals.

"We will continue to work to provide the detailed information to regulators".

"From next Wednesday people will be able to leave their homes for any objective and meet other people in public places, subject to the rule of six", said Johnson. Although it can only be a group of six, this is the most relaxed of the three tiers.

From 12.01am, people will find themselves in a similar situation to before the national lockdown, but with some slight tweaks.

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