LONDON: Wembley will be able to host matches at 50pc capacity – around 45,000 – for the knockout stages of Euro 2020.

This permission has been signed off by the UK government despite the decision of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to delay the full-scale scrapping of health security restrictions until July 19 instead of June 21.

The Euro matches, along with the Wimbledon tennis championships, are being treated as fan pilots which are exempt from strict capacity limits.

Previous pilots included the World Snooker Championship final at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, which was the first British sporting event to be held with a full capacity crowd.

Discussions are ongoing with British Grand Prix bosses about holding the event, scheduled for 18 July at Silverstone, with extra fans.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We want to gather further evidence on how we can open up all big events safely, and for good.

“The expansion of trials of the NHS app and lateral flow testing will mean that bigger crowds will be able to attend a limited number of major sporting and cultural events early this summer as part of our events research programme.

“In the next few weeks, this means more fans enjoying the Euros and Wimbledon, and some of our biggest cultural and sports events.”

At Wimbledon, the women’s singles final takes place on 10 July and the men’s singles final is on 11 July.

“We are continuing to work closely with the Government to finalise the details including the requirements for Covid-status certification for spectators,” the All England Club, which organises the tournament, said in a statement.

“We are pleased to have worked closely with the government, public health bodies, and our local authority in Merton, to confirm that, as part of this next phase of pilot events, the Championships 2021 will begin on Monday 28 June with 50% capacity across the grounds, building to full capacity crowds of 15,000 on Centre Court for the finals weekend.

“This will enable us to fulfil our aspiration of staging the best Wimbledon possible within the current circumstances, with the health and safety of all those who make Wimbledon happen – our guests, competitors, members, staff, media, officials, local residents, and partners – remaining our highest priority.”

England’s Euro 2020 group matches at Wembley, including the opening match against Croatia on Sunday, were permitted to hold 22,500 fans. That was more than double the 10,000 maximum allowed at Premier League grounds for the last two rounds of fixtures in the season in May.

At non-seated outdoor venues, such as racecourses, there is a current capacity cap of 4,000.

Fans who attend England’s group games are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test before entry.