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Ipswich Town to play on while youth sport and golf among those ceasing activity under third national lockdown to fight Covid-19




Ipswich Town and other elite football clubs have been given the green light to play on during the new national lockdown while professional horse racing can also continue behind closed doors.

The Blues have not played since a 2-1 home victory over Burton Albion in Sky Bet League One on December 15 due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at the club.

Paul Lambert's side, who are subject to an EFL-wide round of testing happening today, are due to return from their enforced absence at home to Swindon on Saturday in a live televised match being broadcast on Sky Sports (5.30pm).

Ipswich Town are able to continue playing behind closed doorsPicture: Mark Westley
Ipswich Town are able to continue playing behind closed doorsPicture: Mark Westley

But non-elite sport, including golf, tennis and youth (under-18) football and rugby, which providers were able to operate under Tier 4 restrictions, is now forbidden with immediate effect.

Many youth leagues and clubs in the area had already taken the step of not continuing with their under-18 activities since the harsher restrictions were imposed on a bigger area of the south east on December 26.

On the government's website it says that an exemption is available for disabled sport under the new national lockdown though. And there is also an exemption in place that allows elite sportspeople (and their coaches if necessary, or parents/guardians if they are under 18) - or those on an official elite sports pathway - to compete and train.

Professional horse racing is set to continue during the national lockdown behind closed doors, though Newmarket is not due to host another meeting until April when the Flat season returnsPicture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Professional horse racing is set to continue during the national lockdown behind closed doors, though Newmarket is not due to host another meeting until April when the Flat season returnsPicture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Meanwhile, under 'sports and physical activity' it states: "Indoor gyms and sports facilities will remain closed. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges and riding arenas must also close.

"Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue."

Under November's national lockdown angling was the only sport allowed to continue but the situation this time around is not yet clear.

Non-elite sports are not permitted now the country has entered a third national lockdown
Non-elite sports are not permitted now the country has entered a third national lockdown

The Angling Trust, the governing body in the UK, has issued a short statement on its website saying: "We are currently studying the detail of the new Covid-19 national lockdown restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on Monday evening and will be analysing the regulations once they are published.

"We will then update our advice on this website as soon as possible."

In regards to exercise, the government has issued restrictions to 'once per day' which should be done 'locally' and is able to take place with one other person from outside your household, if you are alone.

Exercise can also be carried out with people from your household or members of a 'legally permitted' support bubble.

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