02:02 GMT20 January 2021
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    The Premier League has been conducting matches behind closed doors as fans have been banned from football stadiums in the UK since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Up to 4,000 people will be allowed inside Premier League stadiums that fall in low-risk areas in England from 2 December.  

    On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that fans and spectators will be allowed to return to outdoor sports events in England once the current coronavirus lockdown ends.

    Premier League officials welcomed the prime minister’s announcement on the return of supporters, albeit at small capacities. 

    “Fans have been greatly missed at Premier League matches and therefore we welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement today regarding the return of supporters for the first time since March, albeit at small numbers. Our ambition remains to work with Government to increase attendance to more substantial levels. Until this can be done, many fans will be unable to attend games and our clubs will continue to operate matches at a financial loss," premier league officials said in a statement. 

    “Our priority continues to be the agreement of a roadmap, with DCMS and the Sports Technology and Innovation Group, for pilot events that can help our clubs quickly scale up to larger capacities in line with the Sports Ground Safety Authority’s COVID-secure guidelines and beyond. Premier League clubs have a proven track record of achieving high-biosecurity standards and we believe we can play a significant role in the Government’s rapid turnaround testing initiative. We look forward to working with Government on their next steps”, it added. 

    ​The return of fans to stadiums across England has been long-awaited, but here is all you need to know about the rules and regulations, including bans on singing and drinking alcohol, which the fans will have to follow: 

    • A maximum of 4,000 fans will be allowed into the stadium if it is located in a tier-1 region. If the stadium is located in a tier-2 region, a maximum of 2,000 fans will be allowed entry and in tier-3, no fans will be allowed entry. 
    • The UK government will announce the tiered regions on Thursday.
    • Interestingly, three of the biggest league clubs – Manchester United, Manchester City, and Liverpool – all fall under the tier-3 areas, so it remains to be seen whether they will be allowed to admit fans after 2 December.
    • Fans will have to mention their arrival and exit times to avoid crowding and sings will be put up for social distancing.
    • The clubs are going to put personal hygiene and code reminders around the grounds and facilities.
    • Wearing masks is mandatory at all times, while bottles of hand gel no bigger than 50ml will be permitted.
    • Supporters will also be encouraged to travel safely and avoid busy public transport routes as much as possible.
    • Fans will be banned from singing inside the stadiums. Drinking alcohol is also going to be forbidden.

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    Tags:
    pandemic, COVID-19, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, UK, stadium, supporters, fans, Premier League
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