Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden led yesterday’s Covid-19 press briefing from 10 Downing Street, marking the return of sport on 17 June.

The Premier League resumed action yesterday evening, beginning with Arsenal vs Manchester City. Dowden hailed the return, saying: “The best league in the world is back up and running after a 100-day pause.”

He added that all but five of the world’s countries would be airing the evening’s games, “underlining the soft power of UK sport. The Premier League is returning, and the world will be watching.

“This is a hugely symbolic moment. An important step forward in our careful journey back towards normality.”

Dowden noted the charitable work done by those in the sport sector, including £500,000 donated to good causes by the England men’s and women’s cricket teams. He also praised England footballer Marcus Rashford, who successfully advocated for the government not to discontinue free schools meals for disadvantaged children.

Dowden also said that “a lot of progress” has been made with the Cultural Renewal Taskforce”, and reiterated the importance of British culture.