Football, tennis and gyms to be FIRST to restart after lockdown 2, Culture Sec says


FOOTBALL, tennis and gyms will be the first things to restart after lockdown ends on December 2, the Culture Secretary said today.

Oliver Dowden dashed hopes Brits in England would be able to have a game of footie – but promised grassroots sport “won’t be forgotten” when restrictions are eased.

Grassroots football won’t be allowed to continue

Oliver Dowden vowed football had not been forgotten

The drastic lockdown restrictions mean Brits won’t be able to play grassroots sports, head to the gym or even have a game of tennis, go for a swim, or play a round of golf.

But a loophole in the lockdown regulations means children are allowed to play football at school and teens can go to the gym if it is an “educational” activity.

This is despite the Government’s health kick to try and get the UK to exercise and eat better.

There was huge anger from MPs who slammed the bizarre rules on grassroots sports.

Tory MP Rob Butler said he had been hounded by constituents demanding gyms, swimming pools and golf course are allowed to stay open to help people with their physical and mental health.

Mr Dowden told him: “I’m working closely with other ministers across Government to ensure they will be at the front of the queue to return when these restrictions expire.”

When quizzed over the rules today, Mr Dowden told MPs:”I know that football clubs large and small make a huge contribution to their community on and off the pitch. And I can assure my honourable friend they won’t be forgotten.

“As soon as we’re in a position to start lifting restrictions, grassroots sports will be one of the first to return.

“But until then we have made sure that families can keep exercising throughout this lockdown so I would urge people to get out and get fit.”

Boris Johnson claimed earlier this week that if he began to “unpick” rules for outdoor activities, the entire package of lockdown rules could begin to unravel.

He said: “I must apologise for not being able to offer a huge list of exemptions to the rules we’ve set out.

“Because once you unpick at one thing alas the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised.

“That’s why I want everyone to work together for the next four weeks to get the R rate under control so that we can open things up again in time for December.”