Fans could be allowed to return to football matches by Autumn in the UK following the latest guidance issued by the government. Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the next steps for the country’s easing of lockdown restrictions, and these included allowing fans to return to the grounds in a COVID-secure manner.
Crowds Could Return to Football Matches in Autumn
The government has paved the way for fans to return to matches in the autumn after Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the next steps to ease coronavirus restrictions.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 17, 2020
Trials Will Take Place
Before fans can return, though, there will need to be test events to understand how save a large-scale return of football fans would be.
It has been mooted previously that the Community Shield could be used as a test event but further trials will likely need to take place.
This will be a big step for fans as they have not been allowed to see their teams in action since all sport in the UK was suspended back in March at the height of the pandemic.
Leagues have since returned to action behind closed doors, meaning there are strict protocols in place for players and management, while only a handful of journalists and security staff are allowed inside the stadium while matches are taking place.
Fans have been somewhat ‘replaced’ by recorded crowd noise inside the grounds, and other clubs have even taken to putting cardboard cutouts of fans (who could pay to have their own cutout) in seats.
Certain sports events will allow fans to return before autumn, such as county cricket and the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield, but the government want to slowly ease back crowds for events that need larger stadia and social distancing will be in place.