4th to 10th May
Approaching the end of week six of the stay-at-home campaign advised by the UK government, the main theme of most news headlines now feature some type of exit strategy being planned. We do not know yet what the plans will entail, as much will depend on a decline of new cases diagnosed with Covid-19. The lockdown period for the UK officially ends on the 7th May. However, Ireland has already extended the date to the 18th May and we suspect the UK government may do the same. In the meantime, there will most certainly be a lifting of certain business restrictions as the plan was always to phase certain sectors back into operation. All eyes are of course on those nations who have already phased certain sectors back. One such nation is Germany who earlier in the week, depending on whether all news can always be believed, reported a slight increase in new cases. It would be a concern for all governments not to ease restrictions too soon. Reading an earlier article written in March this year, the UK government had predicted it would take up to six months for life to return to 'normal'. As we had already mentioned last week, we are not that sure we should be going back to our old 'normal'. There are many aspects to our lives the pandemic has exposed that can be done differently once current restrictions are eventually lifted.
The planning to phase business sectors back has also not been lost on sports organisations. We still encounter numerous cancellations and postponements of events, but for some sports it is now more a case of when and not if the season will resume. The Bundesliga, Germany's premier domestic football competition, is meant to resume on the 9th May behind closed doors. The criteria will certainly be that all staff and players must be tested. It also appears that face masks will be compulsory. The decision is still pending final government approval, which is meant to be on Wednesday next week. There are still 92 matches to complete in the English Premier League and early indications are that neutral venues will be used. Testing of all staff and players will be compulsory and play will also be behind closed doors. The date has not been established, but there are hints it will be the first weekend in June. Voting has now closed for the the top job in World Rugby and reports are the winner will be announced sometime today. Bill Beaumont, the current chairman, is running for a second term, while Augustine Pichot, the current vice-chairman, is the challenger. Rugby Union is certainly in need of a global season and perhaps stronger eligibility rules.
We learned earlier in the week that Silverstone, one of the venues of the Formula One season, will still go ahead, but no spectators will be present. This will certainly be the case for most of the season, if not the entire year. There are talks for sport to continue, the compromise may have to be that spectators are not allowed at any venue until 2021. Holon in Israel has been selected by the FIG (the world governing body for gymnastics) as host to the 2024 Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships. There has also been an announcement by the FIA (motor racing's world governing body) of a new all-electric off-road series set to race in remote locations across the world. Extreme E is set to start in 2021 and the main significance is teams will consist of female and male drivers.
Until next week, stay healthy and stay positive.