Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce further Coronavirus restrictions as early as today (Wednesday) in a bid to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus.
Johnson has already reintroduced mandatory face mask wearing on public transport and in shops since Omicron was first discovered in England, while travel restrictions have also been toughened.
Football looks set to be affected if Plan B is pushed through as well, with reports claiming that outdoor events with more than 4,000 people who are all in close proximity to each other or any settings with more than 10,000 attendees are set to require Covid certification for participants to enter.
According to the government’s ‘COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021’, vaccine certification would be required to attend nightclubs, indoor events of 500 or more people, and mass outdoor events.
It also says vaccine passports would be used for “outdoor, crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households.
With a capacity of around 40,000, it is quite clear that Chelsea and their home games at Stamford Bridge will be affected in some way and fans heading to those games would all be required to have a Covid passport to watch the game from the stands.
football.London understands that Chelsea are waiting for guidance from the Premier League and what their definition is of Plan B before pressing ahead with what might change in SW6 on a matchday.
Fans have been back at football grounds across the country in full attendance since the beginning of the season without needing to have proof of a negative lateral flow Covid-19 test or checks on vaccine status.
Under Premier League guidance, all clubs are required to carry out spot checks, asking supporters over the age of 18 to show Covid certification, but the right to refuse entry on these grounds has been left at the clubs’ discretion.
August 2021 was the first time that stadiums were back at full capacity since March 2020 as fans gradually returned to arenas but in much, much smaller numbers before the start of the new campaign.
Chelsea played in front of 15,000 fans at the Champions League final victory over Manchester City in Porto and 21,000 at Wembley in defeat to Leicester City in the FA Cup final.
Chelsea take on Leeds United in the Premier League this weekend at Stamford Bridge but it remains yet unclear if that game will be affected by the new conditions, which national media are reporting could be announced this evening just prior to the Blues taking on Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League.
Blues midfielder Mateo Kovacic tested positive Covid-19 on Tuesday ahead of the game and is currently in self-isolation while Spurs are currently in the midst of a Covid outbreak among their squad which has thrown their game against Brighton on Sunday into jeopardy.
Blues head coach Thomas Tuchel was asked about the concern of outbreaks at other clubs following the news at Spurs at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday and said: “I was aware that this can happen.
“Me personally, I am not happy that it is happening as a manager and person. But this is the reality at the moment and we have to be ready to adapt to secure people’s health. We have to do the best thing possible to avoid transmission.”
Source by Football London