GRASSROOTS sport is to return to Somerset early next month, and spectators will be able to return to stadiums.

The current Covid-19 lockdown across England will end just after midnight on Wednesday, December 2, after which the country will return to the previous three-tier system.

The government is to announce which areas are in which tiers on Thursday (November 26), and this will be formally reviewed every 14 days.

What we do know now, regardless of which tier(s) Somerset ends up in, is that gyms and leisure centres can reopen and outdoor sports will resume, subject to social distancing.

As for spectator sports, these can resume in tier one with a maximum crowd of 50 per cent of stadium capacity or 4,000 spectators - whichever is smaller.

In tier two, 50 per cent of capacity or 2,000 spectators (whichever is smaller) is allowed.

Indoor venues in tiers one and two can have a maximum of 1,000 spectators.

Spectators will not be allowed into stadiums in tier three areas.

Grassroots participation sports can take place in all areas but the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said there will be "some restrictions on highest-risk activity in tier three areas".

Its statement added: "Spectators at non-elite sports will be able to attend events in line with Covid-secure guidance for each tier."

Elite sport can take place in all areas, just as Somerset County Cricket Club's players have continued to train throughout lockdown.

Indoor sports

Indoor sports can resume but, because of "the higher transmission risk of coronavirus in an indoor setting", the DCMS said there will be restrictions on "some activities" depending on the "alert level" of the area.

In tier one areas, indoor sports can take place within the rule of six (for example, four people from different households can play a doubles tennis match), and group activities such as training sessions and exercise classes can take place in larger numbers, provided that people are in separate groups (up to six people) that do not mix.

For tier two, indoor sport can take place within households and people can take part in group activity, like exercise classes, as long as there is no mixing between households.

People can play sports which do not involve close proximity or physical contact against one person from another household, such as a singles tennis match.

For tier three areas, indoor group exercise and sports) will be restricted to people from the same household or bubble.