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“In tiers one and two, spectator sports and business events will be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing,” said Johnson.

“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, especially the over-60s.

“Also, [it will involve] looking at the rate at which cases are rising or falling, the percentage of those tested in a local population who have Covid and current and projected pressures on the NHS.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden described the announcement as “a big step forward for fans as we work towards fuller capacities”.

“Thanks to pilot hosts and fans for showing this can be done safely,” he added on social media.

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