LONDON (Reuters) – Children will not be allowed to attend England’s second test against New Zealand at Edgbaston next month after the match was chosen as one of the British government’s pilot events to allow bigger crowds.
The June 10-14 test will be the first event in the second phase of the government programme assessing the risk of COVID-19 transmission at mass participation events.
Edgbaston will now be allowed around 18,000 spectators a day, or 70% of capacity, but all ticket holders must be aged 16 and over.
The same rule will apply to the Royal Ascot horse racing from June 15-19, which has also been selected in the second phase.
An Edgbaston spokesman told Reuters just over 2,000 tickets, out of around 70,000, had been sold to under-16s across all five days before the ban which he confirmed was down to medical consent issues.
“We would have loved to have under-16s, it’s an unfortunate downside of the protocols,” he added. “You want as many children as possible to see test cricket.”
Purchasers would be offered full refunds, upgrades of child tickets to adult ones or amendments to their bookings.
Under-16s will get in free to T20 cricket later in the year, however.
Royal Ascot said 12,000 people would be admitted each day.
“It is an opportunity to demonstrate how racing events are perfectly suited to safely hosting spectators in greater numbers as we progress through the government’s roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions,” said British Horseracing Authority chief executive Julie Harrington.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Fallon)