FA Cup Final To Be Used As Covid Pilot Event To Test Safety Of Fans Returning To Stadiums

Community Shield at Wembley on August 7 will allow 90,000 fans. image: wikipedia

FA Cup Final To Be Used As A Covid Pilot Event To Test The Potential Safety Of Fans Returning To Stadiums

The British government set out a four-stage plan last month for easing England’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions, and among the plan was the initiative to use several big sporting events as pilots, to be able to check the safety of allowing fans back into stadiums in large numbers.

The pilot events will include spectators and fans not socially distanced, with their movements and interactions monitored, but spectators will not be allowed into venues unless they have had a negative Covid-19 test beforehand and they will also be tested afterwards.

With that in mind, two events have so far been chosen, as part of the Events Research Programme (ERP), the first, in April will be the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, followed in May by the FA Cup Final in Wembley stadium.

Both events will operate with a reduced capacity, but with the hope of being to pave the way for the return of large crowds to stadiums later this summer, and the government decisions on stage four will be based on the results shown from these pilot events, with the proposed date of opening big sports events up being June 21, depending on data compiled before that date.

Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, said in a statement, “These test events will be crucial in finding ways to get fans and audiences back in safely without social distancing. We want to get the people back to enjoying what they love. These are important steps towards the safe and special summer we all crave”.

The specific numbers to be allowed to attend these events has not been stated yet, but it is believed that the FA Cup final on May 15 could welcome more than the 10,000 that are set to be allowed into large outdoor venues from May 17 under the third stage of the plan.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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