Boris Johnson introduces Covid-19 ‘Plan B’: What does this mean for the Premier League?

The government triggered new Covid-19 restrictions on Wednesday.

Boris Johnson announced the government’s intentions to implement ‘Plan B’ amid growing fears about the Omiron strain.

The new restrictions include having to work from home where possible, as well as wearing masks in indoor public places.

Previous restrictions during the pandemic have meant that football fans were no longer able to attend matches and while the likes of the Bundesliga have returned to these rules, there has been no mention of reduced capacities in Premier League football stadiums quite yet.

However, ‘Plan B’ will see some changes made to matchdays.

Vaccine passports

Proof of coronavirus vaccination or a negative lateral flow test will be required to attend sporting events in England with crowds of over 10,000 from next Wednesday.

Premier League clubs were reportedly warned of the potential imposition of the new regulations last week and have been preparing for the introduction of vaccine passports in recent months.

Alongside the vaccine passports, fans could be subject to temperature checks prior to entering the stadium and stricter mask mandates will be imposed.

The restrictions are likely to lead to backlash from football fans and could prove to be problematic for matchday stewarts who will be under pressure to enforce the new regulations.

What did Boris Johnson say?

In yesterday’s Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said: “We will also make the NHS Covid pass mandatory for entry into nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather, including unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any venue with more than 10,000 people.

“The NHS Covid pass can still be obtained with two doses (of a Covid vaccine) but we will keep this under review as the boosters roll out.

“And having taken clinical advice since the emergence of Omicron, a negative lateral flow test will also be sufficient.

“As we set out in Plan B, we will give businesses a week's notice, so this will come into force in a week's time, helping to keep these events and venues open at full capacity while giving everyone who attends them confidence that those around them have done the responsible thing to minimise risk to others.”