Like most things, football was paused and postponed during the coronavirus outbreak. This had a huge impact on grassroots and professional football, but it was necessary to keep everyone safe. Gradually, training returned, and eventually, games were once again played. It was eerie watching games played without spectators present, even with the optional artificial crowd noise. This year (2021), they trialled the return of fans at some games and currently, fans are once again invited into the stadiums. This is the new normal of football, take a look at what to expect when you return to watch your first football game:
So, football is back but covid-19 has not gone away. Follow the guidance and advice below to help keep everyone safe and happy watching their favourite game- whatever the end football score.
Don’t Attend Games if you Have COVID-19 Symptoms
Don’t attend the match if you have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive for covid-19 or if you have any symptoms of coronavirus. Instead, stay home and take a lateral flow test (and if positive take a PCR test).
Take a Lateral Flow Test
Even if you don’t have symptoms take a lateral flow test. Sometimes, there are no requirements to take a test before attending a game, but it’s best to do so for your own peace of mind and for the safety of others.
Studies show that people are far less likely to transmit covid-19 when they are fully vaccinated. Therefore by getting two doses of the covid-19 vaccine (and boosters when needed) you are not only less likely to catch covid-19 or have it so bad that you need to be hospitalised, you are also doing your bit to help others, especially the elderly, vulnerable and those unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons.
Get Your NHS Covid Pass
To comply with Welsh Government Covid regulations, all supporters aged 18 or over attending football matches in Wales will be required to show an NHS Covid Pass or proof of a negative lateral flow test (this should be a record of the negative result, not the physical test itself) on entry.
NHS Covid Passes are available at gov.wales/get-your-nhs-covid-pass.
Covid Passes are not currently needed at football matches in England. If this changes you can get yours here: https://gov.wales/get-your-nhs-covid-pass
Northern Ireland: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/coronavirus-covid-19-covid-certificate-ni-residents
Social distance wherever possible. Follow signs for one-ways systems and suggested standing spots. If you’re in a queue leave a space of two metres between yourself and the person ahead of you.
Bring and use Sanitiser
Bring your own sanitiser and regularly sanitise your hands. If there are facilities to wipe your seats before and after, use them.
Everything takes a little bit longer with the need to social distance and show NHS Covid passes etc. Leave early to allow for this. Make sure you comply with your notified arrival time.
Wear a Face Mask
Remember to bring a face mask. You may not need to wear it all the time, but make sure you wear it while indoors and while closer to people, especially the elderly and vulnerable.
Use a Digital Ticket
Wherever possible download a digital ticket to your smartphone to allow for contactless ticket scanning. Bring your debit card as cashless is the safest way to pay at the stadium.
Use Common Sense and Be Safe and Responsible
As long as everyone uses common sense, we can all be safe at football games. If you need to sneeze, make sure to do it into a tissue, don’t physically approach a player or fan, follow instructions from the stadium stewards and staff, and remember to refrain from throwing the match ball back into play (instead a member of stadium staff will collect, sanitise, and return to the field of play).
So now you are match ready, you can enjoy the beautiful game safely. Cailtyn is looking forward to watching Wales v Belgium next week.
Have you been back to a stadium football match yet? What match are you planning to watch?
For the latest up to date advice please check out the World Health Organization website.
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