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10th Aug 2021

Premier League to begin random Covid spot-checks at grounds for new season

Danny Jones

Premier League to hold random Covid spot-checks

Some grounds are set to carry out Covid spot-checks at the start of the new season

As reported by several outlets, the Premier League has announced that fans are will be subject to random Covid spot-checks at certain grounds around the country during the opening few weeks of the new season.

As supporters return to stadiums in their droves and we edge closer to normal, full capacity crowds again, this newly proposed matchday protocol suggests that fans should be prepared to show they have either been fully vaccinated or have received a negative lateral flow test in the previous 48 hours, via their NHS Covid app or website link.

The Premier League’s official statement reads:

“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 attendees to have their Covid-19 status checked upon arrival, should it become mandatory.”

They added that fans must comply with a supporter code of conduct and stressed the importance of wearing masks around indoor areas such as in and around the concourse, not to mention the recommendation of avoiding close contact with others outside of your party and following any one-way signage around stadiums.

The Prem also went on to say that “Even though the nation is reopening, the Government has made it clear that this pandemic is still far from over.

“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.

“The Premier League will continue consulting with all key stakeholders, including the Football Supporters’ Association, and will be running a series of fan-engagement campaigns to help all ticket-holders ensure they are match-ready.”

National coronavirus legislation obviously ended on July 19th and any restrictions are now decided at either a local level or based on a particular venue’s discretion.

It remains unclear whether vaccine passports/certification will be introduced, though there has already been the suggestion that this could be implemented around the UK’s football grounds. This thinking is that this would be a possibility for crowds of 20,000 or more from the end of September but could become a wholesale requirement if necessary.

The first game of the 2021/22 Premier League season kicks off this Friday between Arsenal and newly-promoted Brentford. Regardless of what measures are in place in order to get inside the ground, we’re just glad to be back.

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