THE Government has paved the way for elite sport to return behind closed doors in England from Monday, claiming: "The British sporting recovery has begun."

Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: "Two months after sport stopped and after weeks of round the clock discussion with medical experts and professional sports bodies I'm delighted to announce today the Government has published guidance which allows competitive sport to resume behind closed doors from Monday at the earliest."

Horse racing will lead the way at Newcastle on Monday while the first major meeting follows on June 6 at Newmarket, including the 2000 Guineas.

Premier League football is scheduled to restart on June 17 with the English Football League set to follow later in the month, subject to club votes and approval from police and other safety bodies. Dowden made it clear women's sport would not be allowed to fall behind, adding: "Visibility matters, and our daughters deserve to see female athletes on the main stage." Participants must travel alone and in private transport, while everyone entering a venue must be screened for Covid-19 and anyone suspected of having the virus must be placed in isolation. A one-way system of movement must be established around the venue, while social distancing must be maintained "where possible.