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CHAMPAIGN — Fans are beginning to make their way back into University of Illinois home sporting events.

Slowly.

The Big Ten announced on Wednesday it will let individual universities decide, based upon local health guidelines and restrictions, attendance policies for the remainder of regular-season competition this school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The update is effective immediately and includes spring football.

At Illinois, the current policy is to allow two direct family members for each student-athlete, UI sports information director Kent Brown said Wednesday. That policy was put in place last week, allowing limited attendance for the final Illini women’s gymnastics home meet at Huff Hall. That plan will be used this upcoming weekend for the Illini’s two home volleyball matches against Indiana, four softball games against Minnesota, three baseball games against Northwestern and two men’s tennis matches.

Last fall, Illini football players, coaches and staff members were able to give four tickets away, allowing a few hundred people to attend home games at Memorial Stadium. No fans were allowed inside State Farm Center this past basketball season or at Huff Hall for wrestling and men’s gymnastics meets.

“We will continue to evaluate our policies as the spring moves along,” Brown said.

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