VACCINE PASSPORTS: EFL clubs to decide use for themselves
PA Nigel French
EFL clubs will be left to make their own decision on whether to use Covid certification when the new season begins next weekend in the absence of the Government mandating so-called ‘vaccine passports’.
The UK Government is yet to decide whether to make passports compulsory for some large-scale events such as football matches, having already announced they will be required for nightclub entry in England from the end of September.
Reports have suggested they could be required for events with crowds of 20,000 or more from the end of next month, and it is understood the EFL is in continued dialogue with the Government over the issue of certification.
Three clubs contacted have indicated they do not intend to require certification when the season starts but will adhere to all legal requirements.
The 2021-22 EFL season kicks off on Friday when Bournemouth host West Brom in the Championship.
Capacity limits at sporting venues lifted on July 19, when the Government stripped away almost all remaining legal restrictions related to coronavirus.
However, it will be up to local authorities whether EFL clubs are allowed to return immediately to full capacity next weekend.
Sheffield Wednesday published advice to fans ahead of their Carabao Cup match against Huddersfield at Hillsborough on Sunday.
“Supporters should note that at this moment in time, there is no requirement to provide COVID-19 passports or similar. We will communicate any change to this policy, based on Government guidance, should the need arise,” the club advice stated.
“Everyone entering the stadium is advised to wear a face-covering when not eating or drinking. This is not a regulation but we are adapting this advice with safety first paramount in our thinking.”
Premier League clubs have taken differing approaches in their pre-season fixtures to date.
Chelsea announced on Wednesday their intention to use certification for all men’s and women’s fixtures at Stamford Bridge and Kingsmeadow, but Manchester United did not insist on it for the match against Brentford on Wednesday.
The Red Devils currently have no plans to introduce vaccine passports for the friendly against Everton next Saturday either.
Top-flight matches are set to be played at close to full capacity, except for any seating deemed to be close enough to the playing area to fall into the ‘red zone’ of the stadium.
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