New quarantine exemptions will allow major sporting events, as well as TV and film productions, to go ahead this summer, the Government has said.
Silverstone will be able to stage races in August, and the move gives the go-ahead for international cricket, Champions League and Europa League football, the PGA British Masters Championship and the World Snooker Championships to take place.
Meanwhile, fears the relaxing of lockdown in England could lead to the emergency services being as busy as New Year’s Eve appear to not have been realised.
Devon and Cornwall Police said they had received more than 1,000 reports over the so-called Super Saturday, most of which were “drink-related”, while four people were arrested and several pubs decided to close after alcohol related anti-social behaviour in north Nottinghamshire.
In London, Soho attracted a number of people on Saturday evening as establishments opened for the first time in more than 100 days and the chief constable of West Midlands Police Dave Thompson said there was a “slow steady approach to the night time economy reopening in Birmingham”.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said selected international sporting events and major movie and television productions will get the green light despite the coronavirus outbreak.
The Culture Secretary spoke to Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise this week about how the exemption will allow production to resume on Mission Impossible 7 and 8.
Also, significant darts, horse racing and other sporting events are expected to follow, ministers said.
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 Government Covid-19 secure guidance and put in place “stringent protocols” to ensure that they have a minimal impact on public health.
Exempted individuals will have to live and work in controlled “bubbled” environments behind closed doors, according to the rules.
Mr Dowden said: “I’m very pleased that we’ve agreed exemptions from border health measures for a limited number of athletes and events staff, which means the British summer of sport is back on.
“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.”
Government guidance will also be set out this week to allow small numbers of “essential cast and crew” to travel to the UK without having to quarantine for 14 days.
It was revealed that the Culture Secretary spoke to Hollywood superstar Tom Cruise this week about how the exemption will allow production to resume on the Mission Impossible blockbusters which are shot at the Warner Bros Studios Leavesden in Hertfordshire.
Mr Dowden said: “Our creativity, expertise and highly successful tax reliefs for our screen industries means that we are an in demand location that in turn delivers a great return for our economy.
“We want the industry to bounce back and exempting small numbers of essential cast and crew from quarantine is part of our continued commitment to getting cameras rolling safely again.
“This is welcome news not just for film lovers but the thousands employed across the screen industries and the sectors it supports.”
The Government said the exemption applies to individuals coming into England specifically to work on film and television productions which qualify as British under one of the Government’s cultural tests or official co-production treaties.
Any such individuals will be required to remain for 14 days within a “bubble” that includes only their place of accommodation and production location.
A Government spokesperson said: “The measures for sporting events in England mean that Silverstone, in the year of the 70th anniversary of the British Grand Prix, will be able to stage races on August 2 and 9.”