International sporting stars such as Tiger Woods are to be exempted from coronavirus quarantine laws to allow the ‘crown jewels’ summer events to take place, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Champions League football, the British Masters Golf Championship and international cricket events are among the competitions which have been reprieved as part of Boris Johnson’s moves to boost the economy – and lift national morale.
The move – last night hailed by No 10 sources as ‘Boris giving the green light to a golden summer of British sport’ – came after Ministers brokered agreements with the main sports authorities to introduce ‘strong public health protections’ to allow the events to take place on home soil.
Sports stars such as Tiger Woods (pictured) will be exempt from coronavirus quarantine laws as the Government allowed elite athletes to travel to Britain without having to self-isolate
Under the negotiations, led by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, it was agreed that officials, coaches, medics, mechanics and foreign media will ‘prepare and perform in a bubbled, controlled environment behind closed doors’.
Sources said the process was part of ‘a measured approach around the return of elite sport, under carefully controlled medical conditions, with all precautions taken to ensure there is no risk to public health’.
Although ‘air bridges’ were announced with a total of 73 countries last week – meaning visitors would not face 14 days in quarantine – they did not include top sporting countries such as America, China and Portugal.
It also means the British Grand Prix, starring Lewis Hamilton (pictured), can also go ahead in August at Silverstone
English-based players taking part in the Champions League, including Manchester City's squad (pictured), will not have to quarantine when they return from European duty in Portugal
Silverstone had already announced plans to mark the 70th anniversary of the British Grand Prix by staging races on August 2 and 9.
Other events which have been salvaged by the move include the World Snooker Championships, with darts, horse racing and other sporting events also expected to follow.
But it has come too late to save the Wimbledon tennis championships, which should have been entering its second week.
Other events which have been postponed include the Euro 2020 football tournament, the Tokyo Olympics, the London Marathon and the Tour de France.
Players will not have to quarantine ahead of England's test cricket series against West Indies, set to take place in July, with interim captain Ben Stokes (pictured) leading the way for the hosts
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (pictured) confirmed the news meaning that British sports fans can look forward to watching some action this summer
Mr Dowden said: ‘I’m very pleased that we’ve agreed exemptions from border health measures for a limited number of athletes and events staff, which means the British summer of sport is back on.
‘I am grateful to the sports governing bodies who have worked closely with us to put in place stringent protocols to ensure these events can go ahead safely.
‘It will mean that fans of the British Grand Prix, international cricket and Champions League football can look forward to yet more sporting action on home soil – a further boost to our national recovery.’