How has women’s sport been impacted by new areas moving to Tier 3?
Just as fans had been allowed back into stadiums in the south east of England, the rules have changed and it’s back to watching sport from the familiar comfort of the sofa.
London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire will be plunged into Tier 3 restrictions from midnight on Tuesday which, apart from the obvious impact on bars and restaurants, also means no fans at sporting events.
Restrictions will next be reviewed on December 30, so which clubs and events are now returning to empty stadiums and arenas.
The last two rounds of the Women’s Super League had fans inside stadiums, but Chelsea, Arsenal, West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur will all have to play without fans while London remains in Tier 3.
In addition to having no supporters at their WSL matches, Chelsea will also not be allowed to have fans at their Women’s Champions League tie against Benfica tomorrow.
The World Darts Championship starts today at Ally Pally, but both women competing, Lisa Ashton and Deta Hedman, will have to take to the oche without fans as they are playing later this week.
Ashton will face Adam Hunt tomorrow evening, while Hedman, who is playing Andy Boulton on Saturday, is making her debut in the tournament and told NewsChain she’s just happy the event is going ahead.
She said: "It doesn't bother me at all. It's just amazing that they can have it anyway. The way I look at it, it's great that they can still put it on and that in itself, with the pandemic that's going on, is 100 per cent fantastic.”
The Premier 15s had also begun to welcome fans back.
Saracens confirmed fans could return to their stadium this weekend just days before the Tier 3 restrictions were announced.
After the government update, Sarries said: "The match was originally due to take place in front of a maximum crowd of 1,000 spectators, but fans will no longer be able to attend due to London moving into England’s highest tier of Covid restrictions (Tier 3) from Wednesday.
"Supporters will be able to watch the match via the RFU’s live stream, more details of which will be shared nearer to matchday. Many thanks for your support and we hope to be able to welcome you back to Copthall Stadium very soon.”
Alongside the defending champions, their local rivals Harlequins won’t be able to host fans at The Stoop.