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Chelsea have become the first team to announce a Covid-19 pass test for fans to attend Premier League matches next season.
Supporters watching fixtures at Stamford Bridge will need proof they are fully vaccinated from coronavirus or will have to produce a negative lateral-flow test before entering the stadium.
Tottenham are trialling the system for their pre-season friendlies, but Chelsea are the first to confirm they will ask for evidence of being Covid-safe for the 2021/22 campaign. The rules for supporters will also apply to women’s games at their Kingsmeadow home.
Chelsea will start their new policy next week with their friendly against Spurs on Aug 4.
“Supporters attending our home games this season, starting with the men’s fixture against Tottenham next week, will need to provide evidence they are at low risk of transmitting Covid-19 to enter Stamford Bridge and Kingsmeadow,” read a statement from Chelsea.
“This is to increase the safety and comfort of our supporters, players and staff as we begin hosting capacity crowds for the first time since March last year.
“Supporters will need to provide proof of full Covid-19 vaccination (with both doses received at least 14 days prior to the match) or proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test (LFT – from age 11 and over) carried out within 48 hours of the fixture kicking off.
“Proof of full vaccination should be supplied via your NHS Covid Pass on the NHS app, or a vaccination letter. Supporters displaying a negative Lateral Flow result should do so on the NHS app, or via a text message or email from NHS Test and Trace.”
More teams are expected to carry out similar trials as the season gets closer, with the Premier League starting in just over a fortnight.
As reported by The Sunday Telegraph at the weekend there are controversial Government plans to bar those who have not been fully vaccinated from attending mass events featuring more than 20,000 spectators, with a negative test no longer deemed sufficient. The lateral-flow tests can be registered as negative on the NHS website with no evidence required.
Spurs to trial Covid pass for fans at pre-season double header against Arsenal
By Ben Rumsby
Spurs confirmed on Tuesday that adults attending their men’s and women’s double-header against Arsenal on August 8 – the men’s team’s final pre-season friendly – must have received both doses of a coronavirus jab or tested negative for the disease within 48 hours of kick-off.
The club said the trial – from which under-18s will be exempt – would allow them “to begin preparations for the potential of full vaccination against Covid-19 being a condition of entry to large events from 1st October”.
More teams are expected to carry out similar trials in the coming weeks.
The announcement came barely two days after Telegraph Sport laid bare controversial Government plans to bar those who had not been fully vaccinated from attending mass events featuring more than 20,000 spectators, with a negative test no longer deemed sufficient.
Tottenham urged those attending the August 8 games to ensure they had downloaded the NHS App – which stores an individual’s Covid Pass – onto their mobile device.
“Passes will be checked by a steward between the initial ticket check at the bottom of the stairs leading to our podiums and ahead of arrival at our turnstiles,” they said.
“Full details on presenting the NHS Covid Pass and a step-by-step guide to entering the stadium will be provided ahead of the event.
“The trial will only add one step to the existing stadium entry process that supporters are familiar with and will allow us to control the flow of supporters into the stadium as the additional check is made.
“Supporters will be asked to download, screengrab or print a copy of their NHS Covid Pass QR Code to ensure they are able to present it quickly.
“It also further ensures the safety and comfort of our supporters, players and staff as we begin hosting capacity crowds for the first time since March, 2020.”
Spurs advised those attending “to wear a face mask or covering on entry to and exit from the stadium, when queuing and on concourses, except when you are eating or drinking”. They added: “Our staff will also be wearing face coverings at all times for your safety.”
The announcement drew a mixed response on Twitter, with some praising the club for “helping to keep spectators safe”, some complaining of “discrimination”, and others upset they had not been informed of the requirement before buying their tickets.
The NHS Covid Pass has already been used as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme, including during this summer’s European Championship.
Telegraph Sport has been told Covid certification will also be in use at the Community Shield between Manchester City and Leicester City at Wembley on August 7.