December 10 – Football fans across England must show Covid-19 passes to enter any stadiums with a capacity of 10,000 or more from next week in response to the spread of the new Omicron variant.
From December 15, fans will need to show proof of double vaccination or a negative lateral flow test result in order to attend games as part of government’s ‘plan B’
It means that every top-flight ground and a significant number in the English Football League will require fans to show a Covid-19 pass.
Two doses of a vaccine will be sufficient for a pass, but this will be kept under review as boosters are rolled out across the country.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the plan after figures showed cases of the Omicron variant doubling every two to three days since it arrived in the country – the worst-hit nation in Europe.
All sports, not just football, will be affected, the rule applying to outdoor seated events with a capacity of more than 10,000 people, outdoor standing events that can hold more than 4,000 people, as well as indoor events with capacities greater than 500.
Mask wearing will not be required at outdoor events, regardless of the crowd size.
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,” Johnson said.
It is hoped the new rules will prevent games having to be reduced in capacity or even played behind closed doors, as happened earlier in the pandemic and causing huge financial losses to clubs.
The four Premier League games taking place on December 15 – Brighton vs Wolves, Burnley vs Watford, Crystal Palace vs Southampton and Arsenal vs West Ham – will be the first at which the latest covid rule is applied.
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