England-Pakistan ODI at Lord’s approved for full capacity

LONDON (AP) — The one-day international between England and Pakistan on July 10 was approved on Friday for a full capacity crowd of 31,100 at Lord’s.

It joins other sporting events such as Wimbledon and the European Championship in a British government research program studying the effects of fan attendance as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

Wimbledon opened at 50% capacity across the All England Club and will be allowed to have a full crowd of 15,000 at Centre Court for the men’s and women’s finals on July 10-11.

Wembley Stadium is expected to host at least 60,000 fans for the upcoming European Championship semifinals and finals.

Lord’s was permitted to host fans last month for England’s test against New Zealand, beginning at 25% capacity.

Ticket-holders for the ODI must show proof of either full vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. They can also be admitted with proof of immunity — from a positive test in the past six months though not in the previous 10 days.

The Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns Lord’s, said on Friday it confirmed receiving government permission for full capacity at the home of cricket.

“In addition to being at full capacity, the COVID restrictions will be disapplied to Lord’s during this match, but risk-mitigation measures will still be in place including test and trace, hand sanitization and face coverings worn when moving around the ground,” the MCC said.

MCC chief executive Guy Lavender added: “To have England men’s first ODI at the home of cricket in almost two years and in front of a capacity crowd, will be truly memorable.”

Organizers confirmed full capacity is 31,100 following the recent addition of new seating.

A widespread return of fans has raised concerns in some places. Nearly 1,300 Scotland fans who travelled to London to watch their team play England on 18 June in Euro 2020 later tested positive for the coronavirus. Finnish health authorities also detected a spike in cases traced to soccer fans returning from neighboring Russia following Euro 2020 matches in St. Petersburg.

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