Return of Town fans to Portman Road could be delayed by new coronavirus rules

It's still unclear when Ipswich Town fans could be returning to Portman Road to watch football again

It's still unclear when Ipswich Town fans could be returning to Portman Road to watch football again after the new Covid-19 restrictions were announced . Photo: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Ipswich Town fans may have to wait longer to return to Portman Road after the Government announced a new raft of coronavirus restrictions.

It had been hoped that fans could start to attend games, in very limited numbers, as part of test events planned - but not confirmed – for either the September 26 clash with Rochdale or the October 6 EFL Trophy battle with Gillingham.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson, addressing the nation earlier this afternoon, said such events will now have to be reviewed as Covid-19 rates increase sharply and the Government bans groups of more than six from meeting socially from Monday.

MORE: Ipswich Town fans could be back inside Portman Road before end of month if test event given green light

And, while October had previously been mooted as the month in which fans could return to sport, that is now in doubt.

Mr Johnson said: “At the present time we must also I am afraid revise plans to pilot larger audiences in venues later this month and review our intention to return audiences to stadiums and conference centres from October 1.

“But that doesn’t mean we are going to scrap the programme entirely, we are just going to have to review it and abridge it and the Culture Secretary will say more about that shortly.”

It is understood that pilot events which have already been arranged - which includes the British Speedway Final at Foxhall on September 26 – to test the safe return of spectators will be limited to a maximum of 1,000 people with social distancing measures in place.

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