Old Trafford fans.

United back measures for return of fans

Friday 09 April 2021 10:55

The Premier League published an open letter to the leaders of the UK’s political parties on Thursday night, signed by them and a number of other sporting authorities, in relation to the return of fans.

In it, the letter referred to the Government “investigating how a COVID certification arrangement could reduce and then safely remove the requirement for social distancing.”

It went on to say: “There are many issues to be addressed including how the technology would work and its ease of use at major events, for both the attendees and the organisers.”

The letter stressed the need to ensure that any solution “must ensure that everyone can access stadia and must include arrangements that would verify a negative COVID test or an anti-body test or vaccination certification. The final approach must not be discriminatory, should protect privacy, and have clear exit criteria.”

“Based on these principles, we support the review of the use of COVID certification for major events. Any final decision on their application should follow an assessment of the evidence gathered in the forthcoming ERP [Events Research Programme] trials.”

Old Trafford to welcome visitors back


United's Museum & Stadium Tour will reopen to the public this spring.

Collette Roche, Manchester United Chief Operating Officer, said: “Manchester United fully endorses the open letter signed by a range of sports governing bodies, including the Premier League.

“We support the ongoing work of the Premier League and DCMS to deliver a timetable and a framework for the safe return of our fans.

“We have worked closely with the Premier League as they negotiate the challenges, consult with medical experts and review the different options open to them.”

The Government had announced earlier this week that they are exploring the possibility of using COVID-status certification to reopen the economy and reduce social restrictions, including enabling large-scale gatherings such as football crowds.

The Government’s Roadmap Reviews Update outlined how this could work. The policy paper said COVID-status certification could be demonstrated by a negative test result, vaccine status, or proof of natural immunity.

Roche continued: “In the interests of getting as many of our fans back safely, our team at Old Trafford are ready to align our operations with the conditions that are required by the Government and the football authorities.

“If the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown remains on track, we hope to be able to welcome back fans to Old Trafford at a limited capacity for the final home game of the season, and potentially at greater numbers next season.

“We will do that by doing what we have done throughout the pandemic – by consulting and communicating with our fans, our partners and our local authorities.”