UK stadiums will be reopened to spectators from October, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has announced. Recall that the stadiums were shut in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and matches have been played behind closed doors after the return of the Premier League on June 17.
“We will pilot larger gatherings in venues like sports stadiums with a view to a wider reopening in the autumn, from October, we intend to bring back audiences in stadiums. Again, these changes must be done in a Covid-secure way, subject to the successful outcome of pilots.” He said on Friday.
The government has outlined operating guidelines for that to happen. They include:
- Fans must agree to a new code of behaviour that includes not attending if they potentially have symptoms of coronavirus or have been exposed to a person who has tested positive;
- Social distancing must be observed in seating arrangements;
- Crowd management plans should be in place, including the controlled entry and exit of fans and one-way systems;
- Additional hygiene facilities should be installed inside venues, particularly at entrances and exits;
- Screening procedures should be considered at stadium entrances.
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston spoke of his excitement about the news.“For months, millions of us have felt the void of being unable to go to the match to support our team or attend a top-class sporting event, So I am pleased that we are now able to move forward with a plan to help venues safely reopen their doors to fans. I recognise that not every sport, team or club has the benefit of huge commercial revenue, and it is often their dedicated fans that are the lifeblood which helps keep them going. By working closely with sports and medical experts, these pilots will help ensure the safe return of fans to stadiums. Although it will remain some time before venues are full to capacity, this is a major step in the right direction for the resumption of live spectator sport across the country.”