Premiership Rugby have announced that supporters will be allowed to attend two more Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches in the coming weeks after the success of Monday’s pilot event at Kingsholm when 1,000 fans saw Gloucester host Harlequins.

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The fixtures are part of the series of test events the UK Government have approved to pilot the safe return of spectators, adhering to social distancing measures and the latest games to allow fans are the September 22 meeting of Bath and Gloucester at The Rec and the September 30 clash of Bristol and Leicester at Ashton Gate. 

A total of 1,000 spectators will be allowed to be admitted to each match, subject to local safety advisory group approval. The development follows Harlequins hosting Premiership Rugby’s first restart match with spectators on September 5 the defeat to Bath, following the country’s lockdown earlier this year.

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Darren Childs, chief executive of Premiership Rugby said: “We are delighted that following the success of the first two pilot matches at the Twickenham Stoop and Kingsholm, another two Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches have been given the green light from the government. 

“This is testament to the magnificent job done by the teams at both Harlequins and Gloucester. We saw in those matches how important it is for spectators to be present at live sport and we value the trust that the government have placed in us for additional pilot games. 

“The health and safety of everyone involved in Premiership Rugby is our only priority as we bring the sport back from lockdown and that was evident at Kingsholm and the Twickenham Stoop. We are pleased to be able to look to build on that success.”

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Clear guidance, produced in close consultation with the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA), sets out strict measures that these test events must follow to limit the spread of Covid-19. 

Those measures include: Upholding social distancing in queues; Minimising the risk of any pinch points or crowding; Carefully controlling bookings so that social distancing is observed in seating arrangements; Minimising the numbers of tickets sold to a pre-defined safe capacity, in accordance with regulator guidance; Recording people’s data to assist NHS Test and Trace.

According to Premiership Rugby, the pilots will be carefully monitored by the DCMS and the Sports Ground Safety Authority to help inform future decisions on further relaxations of the rules and if spectators will be able to return to live sport on a regular basis from October 1. 

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