Some Premier League clubs could welcome a limited number of supporters back to stadiums after the lockdown in England ends next week.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday that up to 4,000 spectators will be permitted to attend outdoor sporting events in tier one (low-risk) areas after the month-long lockdown is lifted on Dec. 2.
There will be up to 2,000 fans allowed to attend events in tier two areas and zero spectators in tier three.
There will be a vote cast by members of Parliament this week before Johnson's plans can be confirmed.
"In tiers one and two, spectator sports and business events will be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing," Johnson said in a statement to the House of Commons, according to Laura Scott of BBC Sport.
"Later this week, we will announce which areas will fall into which tier - I hope on Thursday - based on analysis of cases in all age groups, especially the over-60s.
"Also, (it will involve) looking at the rate at which cases are rising or falling, the percentage of those tested in a local population who have COVID, and current and projected pressures on the NHS."
England was placed in lockdown on Nov. 5 in an effort to help contain the spread of the coronavirus after cases in the country began to spike to record highs.
Although the lockdown has resulted in improvements in various areas throughout the country, Johnson warns that some regions could see the implementation of tougher measures.
"I'm sorry to say that we expect more regions will fall, at least temporarily, into higher levels than before," he said, according to Peter Walker of The Guardian. "But, by using these tougher tiers and by using rapid-turnaround tests on an ever-greater scale to drive below one and keep it there, it should be possible for areas to move down the tiering scale."
Premier League matches have been played behind closed doors since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson's announcement will be welcome news for a number of clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur. The team's chairman warned of "irrecoverable loss of income" if fans are unable to return to the stadium.
The Premier League welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement, but efforts will be made to work with the government on a plan to increase the number of fans allowed in stadiums further in order to help clubs financially.
A statement read: "Our ambition remains to work with government to increase attendance to more substantial levels. Until this can be done, many fans will be unable to attend games and our clubs will continue to operate matches at a financial loss.
"Our priority continues to be the agreement of a roadmap, with DCMS and the Sports Technology and Innovation Group, for pilot events that can help our clubs quickly scale up to larger capacities in line with the Sports Ground Safety Authority’s COVID-secure guidelines and beyond."