Covid spot-checks at Premier League games: What are the rules and guidelines, will fans be stopped from entering stadiums?

The Premier League kicks off again this weekend with fans returning to all grounds in full

The Premier League has announced fans are set to be subject to random spot-checks of their Covid-19 status at some grounds in the opening few weeks of the new season.

The 2021-22 campaign, with supporters returning to stadiums following the easing of coronavirus restrictions, kicks off on Friday when Brentford host Arsenal.

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At a glance – 5 key points

Spectators arrive at Wembley Stadium in north London on August 7, 2021 to watch the English FA Community Shield football match between Manchester City and Leicester City.

- The Premier League released a statement on Monday regarding matchday protocols

- Fans going to games should be prepared to show they have been fully vaccinated or have received a negative lateral flow test in the previous 48 hours, via their NHS Covid pass through the NHS app or website link

- Fans must comply with a supporter code of conduct, and the Premier League stressed the importance of wearing masks in indoor areas, avoiding close contact with people you do not know and following one-way signage around stadiums.

- Government apacity limits on fans in stadium ended on 19 July but are now decided at local level

A fan is seen wearing a Leeds United face mask during the Premier League match between Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion at Elland Road at the end of last season. Fans will be subjected to spot-checks at games in the early part of the 2021-22 season.

- Vaccine passports might still be introduced – either across the board or at venues holding 20,000 or more spectators – from the end of September

What has been said

The Premier League statement said: “Initially, in the first few matchdays of the season, supporters can expect the introduction of random spot-checks for ticket holders at some grounds as we establish the required processes so clubs and fans are prepared for all match attenders to have their Covid-19 status checked upon arrival, should it become mandatory.

“Even though the nation is reopening, the Government has made it clear that this pandemic is still far from over.

“It is possible the safety measures for matches could be subject to change at short notice. Fans should continue to follow the latest public health guidance and guidance from their club.

“However, even in these uncertain times we are optimistic that by continuing to work together with fans, supporter groups, football stakeholders, national Government and local authorities everyone can enjoy full and vibrant stadiums while staying safe from Covid-19.

“The Premier League will continue consulting with all key stakeholders, including the Football Supporters’ Association, and will be running a series of fan-engagement campaigns to help all ticket-holders ensure they are match-ready.”

Premier League fixtures

Friday 13 August: Brentford v Arsenal (8pm)

Saturday 14 August: Manchester United v Leeds United (12.30); Burnley v Brighton, Chelsea v Crystal Palace, Everton v Southampton, Leicester City v Wolves, Watford v Aston Villa (all 3pm); Norwich City v Liverpool (5.30)

Sunday 15 August: Newcastle United v West Ham United (2pm); Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City (4.30)