EMOTIONS are mixed following the Prime Minister’s announcement that fans may be able to return to sports grounds from as early as October.

Boris Johnson published the draft guidance on the safe return of fans yesterday, outlining a timetable to progress from Stage Four – the return of sport with no spectators – to the safe return of fans in Stage 5.

Three assessments have been prepared to assist competition partners to determine whether they can safely proceed, and to enable fans to make up their own minds about attending.

Assessment one says spectators should only attend if they are not displaying any Covid-19 symptoms and they are not required to self-isolate.

Fans must also follow requirements set out by the competition organisers regarding social distancing, movements and behaviour.

Names and contact details must be provided for each attendee, to assist with NHS test and trace.

Spectators are also asked to assess the risk associated with attending the competitions, relative to their own personal circumstances, age, group size and makeup, health status and susceptibility to infection.

Assessment two requires competition organisers to liaise with local authorities and local Public Health England partners before each competition, to assess the risk of hosting the competition.

In stage three the venue operator is asked to assess things like the revised capacity of the site and the likelihood of gatherings outside, taking into account whether it is safe for a large number of people to travel to get to the venue – even if the stadium capacity itself is deemed safe.

“It all depends on the directions of the FA league committee,” explained Workington Reds chairman Les Byers.

“It would be a welcome return to football for fans at Borough Park. We are already starting Project Restart, which looks at all the risk assessments, but this gives us more direction.

“If it is going to be October, while in all projections we were looking at the final week of September, we’ve been planning for the return of football then anyway.”

Mr Byers said the club would be happy to return with a reduced capacity.

“Capacity shouldn’t be a problem for us. Borough Park is big enough to reduce it to 25 per cent and be able to run it at recent crowd levels.”

The Reds were top of the Northern Premier League Division One North West before their season was curtailed by the pandemic.

Carlisle United said they were not in a position to comment until they had received guidance from the FA about how the return of fans will work in practice.

Tom Todd, chairman of Whitehaven RLFC, said: “We can’t get the season in between October, November and December before it starts again in January. I can’t see it being feasible.”

The rugby league side had their season suspended due to coronavirus, with a decision still to be made about the campaign.