Tottenham Hotspur will test Covid passports in their pre-season friendly against Arsenal, as the Premier League gears up for health checks ahead of the new season and the prospect of fans having to be double-punched to watch matches from October 1.
- Spurs have announced that all adults must show an NHS Covid pass
- Checks are made by stewards before fans reach the turnstiles
- Crowd limits were lifted on July 19, but the government has encouraged event organizers, including sports, to use Covid passports for large crowds
- Premier League expects some, but not all, grounds to undergo Covid checks from the first round of this season, which starts on August 13
Tottenham Hotspur are the first Premier League club to announce they will test the NHS Covid passport for the new season.
The Spurs have told supporters that all adults must show a pass before entering the stadium for their men’s and women’s teams to play against Arsenal on Sunday, August 8.
The Covid pass – generated by the NHS app – confirms that a person has had two doses of vaccine, tested negative for the virus or has natural immunity as a result of a previous infection.
Tottenham Hotspur will test Covid passports during their pre-season friendly against Arsenal
The move comes after the government has advised event organizers and encouraged them to use ‘Covid passports’ where large crowds are present, including at sporting events.
While the Premier League is working on plans, it doesn’t expect all clubs to have a Covid certification scheme by the first round of matches starting on August 13 and Spurs are the first to reveal the schemes.
A number of top flying clubs spoken by Sports post Despite the large turnout, they have no plans to use Covid certification in pre-season friendlies, and are still awaiting advice on what to expect when league matches begin.
Since July 19, when social distancing rules were relaxed as the country moved from step three to step four of the roadmap out of lockdown, there has been no legal limit on capacity.
“Tottenham Hotspur will test the use of the NHS COVID Pass to verify the vaccination or Covid status of supporters attending our men’s and women’s games against Arsenal on Sunday, August 8,” Spurs said in a statement on the club’s website.
Spurs are the first Premier League club to announce plans to try the digital health checks
The club added: ‘All adult supporters attending the Arsenal double header must present their NHS COVID pass generated by the NHS app on their mobile device when entering the stadium to confirm that they have either been fully vaccinated or a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours of kick-off.
Please Note: If you have not yet received both of the required COVID-19 shots, you will need to do a PCR test or a rapid lateral flow test.
‘Pass are checked by a steward between the first ticket check at the bottom of the stairs to our stages and before arriving at our turnstiles.’
Last week, Sports post revealed that the government is developing plans to limit attendance at Premier League football matches to spectators who have had two Covid shots as of October 1, should the virus’ prevalence and impact remain high.
In those circumstances, so-called “vaccine passports” would be required to enter stadiums. These would not allow a supporter to test themselves; they should be double pricked.
Covid passports have been used in the third phase of the government’s event research program
The Premier League is in favor of drafting plans for some form of passport if it allows clubs to maintain full capacity even as Covid ramps up in the autumn and winter.
Spurs said their trial was part of preparations for October.
“This follows recent government announcements and the need for the Club to prepare as the possibility of full vaccination against Covid-19 is a prerequisite for entry to major events from 1 October.”
“It will also ensure the safety and comfort of our supporters, players and staff as we will be welcoming crowds of people for the first time since March 2020,” the club added.
Fans were asked to wear face masks when they returned to top flight competitions last season
Covid passports were an important part of phase three of the Government Events Research Programme. They were used as crowds of more than 60,000 returning to Wembley for the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final and at Wimbledon, where a full house was allowed on Center Courts and Number One Court during the second week of the Championships.
The checks caused no significant disturbance to the crowd, although some fans questioned the rigor of the stewards checking NHS Covid passes and emphasized that where a negative test is required, spectators self-certify their result.
With the season fast approaching, clubs are at various points in the Covid preparations. Manchester United’s pre-season friendly against Brentford and Everton will not use Covid certification, but the club advises supporters to take a lateral flow test before attending and wear a face mask.
“While the legal requirement to wear a face covering in England ended on July 19, the government is advising people to continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed areas,” the club said on its website.