Covid passes mandatory at sporting events with more than 10,000 fans as government plans approved by MPs – Sky Sports


Government’s ‘plan B’ to tackle rise in Covid cases caused by Omicron variant approved by MPs on Tuesday evening; those attending sporting events with crowds of more than 10,000 people will need to provide proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test
Wednesday 15 December 2021 09:50, UK
Spectators will be required to show proof of double vaccination against Covid-19 or a negative lateral flow test to attend sporting events with crowds of more than 10,000 people after MPs approved government plans.
The proposals were part of the government’s ‘plan B’ to tackle the rise in Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant, and were voted into force in the House of Commons on Tuesday evening by a majority of 243.
Sky Sports News understands Premier League clubs – whose average attendances all exceed 10,000 – have been preparing for this eventuality.
Some of the 20 top-flight sides – including Chelsea, Tottenham and Brighton – already made Covid passes mandatory for fans attending their home games earlier this season.
Under the new rules, fans who are unable to prove they are double vaccinated or have produced a negative lateral flow test within 48 hours of the event will be denied entry.
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However, as stadiums of all professional clubs in England, Scotland and Wales are classed as outdoor venues, supporters are still not required to wear masks in their seats.
National rises in Covid cases have had an impact on the Premier League, which approved Manchester United’s request to postpone their fixture at Brentford on Tuesday night.
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United were forced to shut down first-team operations at their Carrington training complex after recording a “small number” of positive results following Saturday’s 1-0 win at Norwich.
Tottenham have also had fixtures against Brighton and Rennes postponed this month, while the Premier League announced 42 new Covid cases among first-team players and staff between Monday, December 6 and Sunday, December 12 – the highest weekly number since figures were made public.
According to the PA news agency, Premier League players and staff will now have to take a lateral flow test every time they want to enter their club’s training ground.
Individuals will be required to take a lateral flow test outside the facility, while twice-weekly PCR testing is also being introduced.
The decision on increased testing was taken at a clubs’ shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday, and will sit alongside existing emergency measures around face coverings, limiting time in the treatment room and observing social distancing which were reintroduced last week.
To attend a Premier League game, you must now either show proof of double vaccination via the NHS Covid app, or proof of a negative lateral flow test taken inside the previous 48 hours.
The rules are intended to “[help] keep these events and venues open at full capacity while giving everyone who attends them confidence that those around them have done the responsible thing to minimise risk to others,” Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, said earlier this month.
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Fans can get a domestic Covid pass via the NHS Covid app if they are 18 or over, registered with a GP, and meet any of the following criteria:
Those fans who are not fully vaccinated will be able to show proof of a recent negative lateral flow test instead of proof of vaccination.
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Fans who fail to provide proof of double vaccination or proof of a negative lateral flow test will not be allowed access to the stadium.
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As every single Premier League stadium is classed as an outdoor venue, along with those of all other professional football clubs in England, Wales and Scotland, wearing a mask will not be required.
Premier League clubs hold regular discussions about what future measures might be required and have been working towards this scenario for several months, according to Sky Sports News.
The new measures place a lot of responsibility on the fans, who will be expected to arrive at the stadium with readily accessible Covid passes or confirmation of a negative lateral flow test result on email or text message.
Clubs are still waiting for finer details about the impact of the new measures in terms of how they can ensure verification, but some – such as Tottenham, Chelsea and Brighton – have already made Covid passes mandatory while several others have been spot-checking supporters.
At Brighton, stewards have been trained to check and understand what to look for on an NHS Covid pass and also recognise a valid lateral flow test result.
The extra costs involved in terms of time and stewarding manpower will be picked up by the individual clubs but those clubs have already prepared for the logistical challenges posed by the new rules.
While there is no official government advice regarding arrival times for fans, it may be necessary to be at the stadium earlier than usual given the verification process is likely to mean longer, slower-moving queues.
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