Snooker World Championship: Fans ready for Crucible return as part of Covid pilot

Fans will return to The Crucible this weekend for the World Snooker Championship as part of pilot tests for the return of crowds to live events.

Fans are being asked to be tested for Covid-19 on either the day of or the day before the session they are attending, they will also have to take a test 5 days after.

Groups will be distanced from others at the event, with bubbles of four being allowed.

The capacity of the venue will be increased as each round takes place - a third of spectators will be allowed to attend the first round with the final taking place at full capacity and with no social distancing.

Fans will be required to wear a face mask at the event and test and trace will be in place.

Tributes will also be paid to the Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday ahead of his funeral at Windsor Castle, with play being stopped for a minutes silence at 3pm.

Kellie Barker has tickets for the event and said that she is excited to back watching live sport, she is going to almost every day of the tournament.

She said: "I feel safe as houses to go really and to have those golden tickets, I do feel very lucky."

She added: "Everybody's lives have been affected in different ways over the past 12 months and snooker means an awful lot to me I go to a number of events every year obviously we haven't been allowed to.

"So this was such lovely news fans could go to Sheffield this time."

Tian Pengfei at the 2019 World Snooker Championship. Credit: PA

Tian Pengfei has been living in Sheffield since the last World Championships 9 months ago, rather than returning to his native China, in order to play at this year's event.

He has been training at the Ding Junhui academy in the city, which was set up by the former world number one who is a long term resident of South Yorkshire.

Tian said: "In this game, the players exciting the people loving watching, so yeah hopefully everything's back to normal this year."

Where and when the Covid pilots are happening

  • Hot Water Comedy Club, Liverpool (16 April)

  • FA Cup Semi-Final, Wembley Stadium (18 April)

  • World Snooker Championship, Sheffield Crucible Theatre (17 April - 3 May)

  • Luna Cinema, Liverpool (23-25 April)

  • Mass participation run, Hatfield House, Hatfield (24-25 April)

  • Carabao Cup Final (25 April)

  • ACC Business Event, Liverpool (28 April)

  • Circus Nightclub, Liverpool (30 April - 1 May)

  • FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium (15 May)