Major UK sports bodies including FA, Premier League, ECB and RFU have written to Boris Johnson to give their support for Covid certificates as an option to help fill the stadiums.
The organizations, along with the EFL, RFL, Lawn Tennis Association and the All England Lawn Tennis Club, SPFL and the Silverstone Circuit, have called for “certainty as soon as possible” on when fans can return to the city. stadiums at full capacity.
This month’s Carabao Cup final will see 8,000 spectators, while the FA Cup semi-final between Leicester and Southampton on April 18 will see 4,000 supporters.
The organizations behind the letter
The AELTC, Wimbledon, English Football League (EFL), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Football Association (The FA), Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Premier League (PL), Rugby Football League (RFL), Rugby Football Union (RFU), Scottish Professional Football League, Silverstone Circuit
It is hoped that the government events research agenda for the safe introduction of mass gatherings and indoor events will eventually lead to an increase in the number of participants. If the pilot program proves to be effective and the road to exiting the lockout continues to follow the government’s roadmap, the lifting of all social distancing measures is scheduled for June 21.
“Looking ahead to June 21, we support the government’s ambition to ensure the full return of fans, unrestricted if possible,” the letter said. “Out of necessity, it will depend on whether the government accepts that it is safe to reduce or drop social distancing requirements.
“It is important that we have certainty as soon as possible on what form this direction will take so that we can plan effectively and efficiently with many major sporting events scheduled for the end of June and beyond.
“It is right that all possible actions are considered to secure this result as quickly as possible, but only as long as an unrestricted return is considered dangerous for supporters, match-day staff and the general public.”
“This includes studying how a Covid certification deal could reduce and then safely remove the social distancing requirement.
“All of our sports can see the benefit of a Covid certification process in allowing more fans to safely return to their sport as quickly as possible. We know that our stadiums can only be fully filled with one. insurance process. “
The letter said the bodies did not want a Covid certification to be a requirement for grassroots sport, but could be used for “major events”.
“Any final decision on their candidacy must follow an assessment of the evidence gathered from upcoming ERP trials,” they said.
Letter from sports organizations in full:
We welcome the government’s commitment to ensuring the return of spectators to sporting events and the support that all political parties and decentralized administrations have shown for the return of sport at all levels throughout the pandemic.
The Prime Minister’s announcement this week that the government’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions remains on track is very good news.
Sporting events may continue to provide for the return of small numbers of spectators starting May 17. At this point in the process, all spectators will need to meet social distancing requirements and attendance will be capped at a maximum of 25% of the capacity of the larger venue. However, this will still be insufficient to end the sports Covid financial crisis.
Looking ahead to June 21, we support the government’s ambition to ensure the full return of fans, unrestricted if possible. That will necessarily depend on whether the government accepts that it is prudent to reduce or drop the social distancing requirements.
The Events Research Program (ERP) examines how to do this, which examines a range of options, including the extent to which social distancing can be relaxed. This work is supported by all the major sports organizations.
All of our sports are committed to working closely with the ERP to explore all the options that will allow us to quickly regain their full capabilities. We also understand that additional guidance will be issued by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports and the Sports Field Safety Authority.
It is important that we have certainty as soon as possible on what form this direction will take so that we can plan effectively and efficiently with many major sporting events scheduled for the end of June and beyond.
The return of the fans will give a huge boost to millions of people who enjoy a day at a sporting event with their friends and family and will be of great benefit to the economy. It is right that all possible actions be considered to secure this outcome as quickly as possible, but only as long as an unrestricted return is considered dangerous for fans, match day staff and the general public.
This includes studying how a Covid certification deal could reduce and then safely remove the social distancing requirement.
There are many issues that need to be addressed, including how the technology works and how easy it is to use at major events, for both attendees and organizers.
All of our sports can see the benefit of a Covid certification process in allowing more fans to safely return to their sport as quickly as possible. We know that our stadiums can only be fully filled with an assurance process.
This process should ensure that everyone can access the stadiums and should include arrangements for verifying a negative Covid test or antibody test or vaccination certification.
The final approach should not be discriminatory, should protect privacy and have clear exit criteria.
We also reiterate that certification should not be a requirement for any form of grassroots sport participation across the country.
Based on these principles, we support the review of the use of covid certification for major events. Any final decision regarding their application must follow an evaluation of the evidence gathered during the next ERP trials.
We look forward to working with government and all interested parties, including our stakeholders and supporters, to deliver the great sporting summer the entire nation needs.