Sunday 14 March 2021 11:11 am

UK set for 'summer of fun' as FA Cup final to have 20,000 spectators

The UK is set for a “summer of fun” with 20,000 spectators set to kick it off at the FA Cup final on 15 May, according to the government.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has announced Wembley will open its doors to 20,000 fans at the match two days before pubs and restaurants are allowed open indoors.

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The FA Cup final will be a pilot to see if, and how, the UK is able to host more games at the Euros football tournament in June and July than currently planned.

London is set to host group games, both semi-finals and the final of Euro 2020, however Boris Johnson has said the UK could bid to host more games.

Crowds will also be allowed in at the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible theatre on 17 April, while club nights, comedy shows and business conferences will run in Liverpool as “test events” before Covid restrictions are due to end on 21 June.

Dowden said he wanted 2021 to be a “summer of fun”.

He told the Sunday Telegraph: “These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing.

“We will be guided by the science and medical experts, but will work flat out to make that happen. We want to get the people back to enjoying what they love and ensure some of our most important growth industries get back on their feet.

“These are important steps towards the safe and special summer we all crave and that I’m fully focused on delivering.”

However, the Sunday Times reports that European summer holidays are in jeopardy due to the EU’s slow rollout of the vaccine.

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Case rates on the continent are also starting to increase in some areas, with Italy about to enter a new lockdown and R rates increasing in France and Germany.

A senior Whitehall official told the Times: “If Italy is in lockdown and barely anybody has been vaccinated and coronavirus is rife, then the prospect of popping over for two weeks on the Costa del Sol or camping in the Dordogne seems remote.”

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