The Premier League may witness full-capacity crowds at football stadiums from the beginning of next season in England.
This latest development comes after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to further ease Covid-19 restrictions in the United Kingdom.
As we come to the fourth step, we have to balance the risks – the risks of the disease and the risks of continuing with legally enforced restrictions that inevitably take their toll on people’s lives and livelihoods. pic.twitter.com/AqI2nYxpaz
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 5, 2021
On Monday, Johnson in an address to the media announced the British government’s plan to unveil new norms and guidelines as the country continues the unlock procedure in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
And the latest announcement may finally bring some good news for football fans after being allowed entry into stadiums since March 2020 on a pro-rata basis given the state of things. Although Euro 2020 has become a hotbed for the pandemic over the last two weeks.
FootTheBall takes a look at what this latest move from the British government means for the Premier League and football fans starting from next season as stadiums might function at full-capacity in more than a year since the pandemic began
STADIUMS TO OPERATE AT FULL CAPACITY?
The British government has proposed the withdrawal of most Covid-19 restrictions, including the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces and the requirement of maintaining a minimum distance of 1 metre.
Johnson’s regime will discuss this measure before reaching the final decision on July 12 and should the decision go ahead it will mean the admittance of capacity crowds at stadiums from July 19.
The Centre Court and Court One being used for the Wimbledon Championships currently underway in London will be allowing full-capacity crowds from the quarter-final stage onwards.
And should the new Covid-19 norms be put into effect, one will also be witnessing football stadiums teeming with spectators – a sight that was last seen in March 2020 before the pandemic gripped the entire world
BRITISH GOVT: COVID PASSPORTS NOT NECESSARY TO ATTEND SPORTS EVENTS
Boris Johnson’s regime has also waived off the requirement of Covid passports in order to gain entry into stadiums for attending sports events.
Johnson was quoted saying in his press conference: “We’ll move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus.
“From step four we will remove all legal limits on the numbers meeting indoors and outdoors”.
“We will allow all businesses to reopen, including nightclubs, we will lift the limit on named visitors to care homes and the numbers of people attending concerts, theatre, and sports events”
Under the five-point plan introduced for unveiling the rules and regulations as the United Kingdom gets back to “normal life”, it won’t be compulsory to carry a Covid passport.
But on the flipside an organisation can still opt to demand Covid passports as a prerequisite for entry into their premises.
The Premier League will most probably be mandating the use of Covid passports to allow entry to spectators into stadiums from the next season
PREMIER LEAGUE WELCOMES NEWS OF SCALED DOWN MEASURES
The Premier League released a statement in response to the announcement from the Prime Minister, saying the following.
“Fans have been hugely missed so we welcome today’s announcement by the Government, and are looking forward to full stadiums in the 2021/22 season.
Fans have been hugely missed and we welcome today’s announcement by the Government. We are looking forward to full and safe #PL stadiums in 2021/22
More: https://t.co/AWwxB3b58c pic.twitter.com/3Wusdvg4Hq
— Premier League (@premierleague) July 5, 2021
“As we move towards a Government decision on Step 4 of the roadmap and beyond, we will continue to work with football stakeholders and relevant public authorities to ensure that the return to full capacity is done in a way that keeps everyone safe.”
The new Premier League season commences on Friday, August 13, as promoted English club Brentford host Arsenal at the Brentford Community Stadium in the British capital