After a very long wait, the day has finally arrived. Fans are now allowed to watch Premier League football matches live from the stadium.
The British Government has decided to lift the lockdown from December 2 onwards. This means the restrictions on gatherings have been lifted too.
But as of now, only 10 Premier League clubs are allowed to entertain fans at the stadium, Liverpool and Arsenal included but both Manchester clubs are not on the list.
Talks about letting the fans-in was going on in October as well but the final decision was pushed back due to the increasing numbers. Now that the Covid-19 positive cases are going down steadily, talks can resume again.
According to reports Premier League clubs are now allowed to fill 4000 seats or half their stadium depending on which number is lower. All of this depends on the Tier system introduced by the Government.
TIER SYSTEM FOR PREMIER LEAGUE:
British Government is in the works to introduce a Tier system according to which the number of fans allowed will differ.
There are 3 Tiers currently namely – Tier 1, 2 and 3.
Tier 1 areas are the areas with medium risk. 4000 fans can enter Premier League stadiums which fall under Tier 1.
Tier 2 areas are high-risk areas. 2000 fans can enter stadiums in Tier 2 areas.
Tier 3 areas are very high-risk areas. No fan can enter stadiums in these areas.
As of 25th November, the Government has not announced the final Tier list with which area falls under which Tier. However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson did confirm that more areas will fall under Tier 2 and 3 now compared to the list before.
The Tier list released at the start of Lockdown 2 at the start of November had Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and Yorkshire in Tier 3. While London and Essex were in Tier 2.
FAN CONDUCT AND TICKET ALLOTMENT:
The lockdown might be lifted on December 2nd but the virus ain’t going anywhere. The threat of infection still looms over the country. The 4000 fans who will be allowed to enter the stadium have to take certain rules into consideration.
The arrival time and the departure times will be staggered for the fans to ensure social distancing. Fans will not be allowed to drink, chant, or shout inside the stadium to ensure the spread is contained.
Now the clubs face one more problem, the allotment of these 4000 tickets. The demand for the tickets is already through the roof considering the 9 month gap that saw Premier League teams play behind closed doors.
Clubs might try to set-up a Ballot system for ticket allotment. Everton and Manchester City have already started with the process by entering all the season ticket holders into a ballot.
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