Durham FA cancels ALL games below Step 6 after Sunderland, Gateshead, South Tyneside added to Government Covid watchlist

Durham FA has announced it has cancelled ALL games below Step 6 after Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside were all included on a Government Covid watchlist following an increase in reported cases.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 1:47 pm
Matches have been cancelled.

A statement read: “Following the increase in number of reported coronavirus cases which have resulted in Sunderland, Gateshead and South Tyneside being included on the Government Watch List meetings have been held last night and this morning with Sunderland City Council and the Sunderland Director of Public Health plus some Leagues and other providers.

“We all have to do what we can to help prevent the spread of coronavirus therefore the Durham County FA have decided that all games scheduled to be played in those areas below step 6 of the National League System and including small sided are cancelled with immediate effect.

"Also any teams based in those three areas suspend the playing of fixtures whether at home or away until Monday 21st September 2020 when the decision will be reviewed.”

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The city of Sunderland has been added to Public Health England's watchlist for 'enhanced support' as leaders warned “This is our last chance.”

There were 244 new positive cases in the seven days to Tuesday, September 8, which equals to around 75 cases per 100,000 people - three times higher than the national rate.

Sunderland City Council says there are no formal restrictions or lockdown measures as part of the move.

Council leader Councillor Graeme Miller, the chairman of the Sunderland Outbreak Control Board, said that it means more ‘support’ at the moment, rather than restrictions, but warned the city is now very close to a local lockdown.