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Return of fans into stadiums set to be 'paused'

Plans to allow a controlled return of fans into stadiums on October 1 is set to be "paused" as the Government attempts to tackle a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The plans were placed under review earlier this month after a rise in coronavirus cases, with pilot events restricted to 1,000 people.

The UK has moved into Covid-19 alert level 4, meaning transmission is "high or rising exponentially". New measures are expected to be set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson later today {Tuesday}.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, cabinet office minister Michael Gove confirmed plans for a staged return of fans would be "paused".

"We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning - it wasn't going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans," he said.

"We're looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

"The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it's in the nature of major sporting events that there's a lot of mingling."

The pilot programme will also be paused.