Premier League fans face covid spot checks

August 10 – Random Covid spot checks are to be carried out among fans attending Premier League matches in the opening few weeks of the new season.

Under new protocols, fans must be prepared to prove they are fully vaccinated or have had a negative lateral flow test in the previous 48 hours.

The league is introducing the rule in case it becomes mandatory for all fans to have their coronavirus status checked. Brentford host Arsenal in the opening 2021-22 game on Friday evening.

“Initially, in the first few matchdays of the season, supporters can expect the introduction of random spot-checks for ticket holders at some grounds as we establish the required processes so clubs and fans are prepared for all match attenders to have their Covid-19 status checked upon arrival, should it become mandatory,” a statement said.

The league added it “is working with clubs to introduce Covid-19 status checks in a staged way so there is the least disruption and maximum safety possible”.

Fans must also comply with a supporter code of conduct, including wearing masks in indoor areas, avoiding close contact with people they do not know and following one-way signage around stadiums.

Chelsea were the first club to say proof of vaccination or a recent negative test would be needed to enter its ground this season.

“Even though the nation is reopening, the Government has made it clear that this pandemic is still far from over,” said the Premier League.

“It is possible the safety measures for matches could be subject to change at short notice. Fans should continue to follow the latest public health guidance and guidance from their club.

“However, even in these uncertain times, we are optimistic that by continuing to work together with fans, supporter groups, football stakeholders, national Government and local authorities everyone can enjoy full and vibrant stadiums while staying safe from Covid-19.”

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