Premier League fans are set to be forced to show a vaccine passport in order to attend games – and the new regulations could be in place as soon as this weekend.
After a rise in Covid-19 cases due to the new Omicron variant, the UK government are reportedly ready to implement ‘ Plan B’.
This will see people needing to prove they are double vaccinated to enter public buildings as well as working from home directives and more mask-wearing rules.
This will also include recommending that non-key workers work from home and new guidelines to wear face masks more often, with the variant concerning health chiefs.
As for football, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to inform supporters that they will need to provide proof that they have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine in order to attend stadiums.
It has been reported that Premier League clubs were warned of new restrictions during a virtual shareholders meeting last Friday.
Top flight clubs have been preparing for the possibility of vaccine passports for months and even offered to be “guinea pigs” for trials of the concept when the country was emerging from the first and second lockdowns, as a way of ensuring money could still come through the gates.
Prem chiefs calculated that 18 months of no or significantly reduced crowds cost clubs a collective £2billion, with Spurs and Manchester United missing out on £6m in revenue every home match day without supporters in the ground.
Sun Sport revealed there are increasing fears of another total lockdown being imposed in the coming weeks, although that is not on the agenda at this stage.
But controls on fans being able to enter are now almost certain – and the vaccine passports will also be accompanied by other checks.
Fans are likely to be subject to temperature tests at checkpoints before getting to their entry turnstiles.
It is also expected that stricter mask mandates will be imposed, with face coverings required for all indoor areas of grounds and potentially even for fans at their seats.
That will cause issues for stewards who will be under pressure to enforce any new restrictions, especially if there is a public backlash against the edicts.