England's Edgbaston test versus New Zealand will have 18,000 fans

Government confirms England’s cricket Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston will be played in front of 18,000 fans each day and 12,000 spectators a day will be allowed at Royal Ascot

  • Two new pilot events have been added to the Government’s list next month 
  • Royal Ascot and England’s second Test with New Zealand will see big crowds 
  • The Government want to see the impact of more spectators on multi-day events
  • The initial phase of the mass events pilots staged earlier this month went well 
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here.

The Government have added Royal Ascot and the second Test of England’s series against New Zealand at Edgbaston to their list of pilot events where bigger crowds will be allowed than are currently permitted under stage three of the post-lockdown roadmap. 

Next month’s Test between England and New Zealand will welcome around 18,000 fans each day after being selected as the first of the government’s latest test events. 

Currently, outdoor venues are only permitted to be at 25% capacity, or 10,000 spectators, but the stadium will be 70% full for the match against the Black Caps when it takes place between 10-14 June. 

The game will be played 11 days before Freedom Day when government hopes to lift all social distancing on June 21.

Edgbaston will welcome 18,000 fans each day for the second test against New Zealand

In addition, 12,000 spectators will be admitted each day to Royal Ascot from June 15 to 19. The Berkshire track was previously pressing ahead with a capacity limit of 4,000.

Stuart Cain, stadium chief executive, said in a statement: ‘Edgbaston is unique as a cricket venue in having such a large stadium footprint, but we also have a vastly experienced operational delivery team, which has hosted many major events and a spectator pilot last summer. 

‘We have always been hopeful of featuring in the pilot programme and are delighted for the thousands of ticket holders who will now be able to attend.’

12,000 spectators will be allowed to attend Royal Ascot next month as part of new pilot events

At Royal Ascot, racegoers who rolled over tickets from 2020 will be able to attend, while an allocation of general admission tickets and royal enclosure badges will go on sale on Friday.

Guy Henderson, Ascot’s chief executive, said: ‘We’re delighted that Royal Ascot has been accepted to play its part in the next phase of the government’s Events Research Programme. We very much look forward to welcoming 12,000 racegoers each day.

‘Our thanks go to our industry bodies, the British Horseracing Authority and the Racecourse Association, which led the preparation of the submission to government.’

The new pilots will be added to plans for 20,000 fans to attend England’s first two games of Euro 2020 at Wembley, with the Government eager to see the impact of bigger crowds on multi-day events. 

Government wants new pilot events to asses impact of big crowds on the spread of the virus


4 cases at World Snooker Championships, staged indoors at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre over 17 days

0 cases at the Brit Awards

2 cases at outdoor music festival at Sefton Park, Liverpool, among 5,900 crowd

0 cases at FA Cup semi-final at Wembley between Leicester City and Southampton attended by 4,000 fans

0 cases at Carabao Cup final between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, attended by 8,000

0 cases at FA Cup final between Leicester City and Chelsea, attended by 21,000

9 cases a nightclub in Liverpool over two days without masks, attended by 6,000 people


The initial phase of the mass events pilots staged earlier this month went well — particularly at Wembley, with the 40,000 fans attending the FA Cup final, semi-final and Carabao Cup final not producing a single positive test for Covid-19 between them.

Of the 58,000 people who attended events across the sport and entertainment industry there were just 15 Covid cases, with only four positives emerging from the 17 days of the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield despite it being staged indoors at the Crucible Theatre.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden expressed hope on Tuesday that capacity crowds could be allowed at some venues after June 21. But Sportsmail has been told that Wembley will have to operate with restrictions for all of the Euros.

The FA are working towards a best-case scenario of 50 per cent capacity for England’s final group game on June 22 and the knockout stages, with full crowds limited to grounds with capacities of 30,000 and under. 

The second Test of England’s series against New Zealand at Edgbaston has also been included

England’s Summer of Sport

Key events after 21 June – the earliest date all restrictions can be lifted:

11 June-11 July: Football – Euro 2020 in various countries, including seven matches at Wembley

28 June-11 July: Tennis – Wimbledon

23, 24 & 26 June: Cricket – England v Sri Lanka T20s 

29 June, 1 & 4 July: Cricket – England v Sri Lanka ODIs

8, 10 & 13 July: Cricket – England v Pakistan ODIs

13 July: Athletics – Diamond League: Anniversary Games at London Stadium

15-18 July: Golf – The Open at Royal St George’s

16, 18 & 20 July: Cricket – England v Pakistan T20s

17 July: Rugby League – Betfred Challenge Cup final at Wembley

18 July: Formula 1 – British Grand Prix at Silverstone

4 Aug-14 Sept: Cricket – England v India five Test series 

6 August: Football – EFL season commences 

14 August: Football – Premier League season commences 

19 August: Cricket – Royal London Cup final

21 August: Cricket – The Hundred women’s and men’s finals

18 September: Cricket – Vitality T20 Blast semi-finals and final 

28 Sept-1 Oct: Cricket – Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord’s

3 October: Athletics – London Marathon

9 October: Rugby League – Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford

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