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Q&A

Do I need COVID-19 certification to attend a match?

From Wednesday 15 December, Covid-19 Certification will become mandatory for entry into settings where large crowds gather – including unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.

This means fans will need to be prepared to provide evidence of Covid-19 Certification to enter the ground where the attendance will exceed 10,000 seated or 4,000 standing.

All clubs have the authority to refuse entry to the ground if a supporter does not provide the necessary COVID-19 status evidence.

What counts as Covid-19 certification?

People can demonstrate their vaccine status via the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App. People will be able to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the app. Note that a “booster” jab is not a requirement for certification.

If you don’t have a Smart phone, official paper versions can be used (more below).

Having considered the evidence since the emergence of Omicron, the Government has determined that proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted within the preceding 48 hours.

How do I get my NHS COVID pass?

To ensure that fans can continue watching their teams in person this season in a safe manner, it is imperative that all football supporters play their part by ensuring they have valid COVID-19 Passes in advance of match day.

The simplest way of obtaining certification is with the COVID Pass through the NHS app or website.

The COVID Pass can be generated on the app following:

  • You have been fully vaccinated over two weeks earlier
  • You have returned a negative COVID test in the previous 48 hours
  • Or you have registered a medical exemption with the NHS

How should I store my online COVID pass?

Additional checks may delay your entry time to the ground so fans are urged to save any online pass to your device – such as an Apple Wallet – so that you can access the pass offline and not rely on 4G or WiFi.

To add your NHS COVID Pass to the device’s wallet, tap the ‘Add to Apple Wallet’ button within the NHS COVID Pass service.

If you store an offline version of your NHS COVID Pass into your Apple Wallet it will only be valid until the expiry date shown on the COVID Pass. The expiry date will not refresh automatically. This means you will need to store an updated NHS COVID Pass to your Apple Wallet before you next plan to use it if your original COVID Pass has or is due to expire.

I cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Will I still be allowed entry? 

The Government has determined that proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted as certification. This should be taken within 48 hours of kick off to prove their Covid-19 status.

You should check with your club for further information on the requirements for any particular match, as these will vary between clubs and could change over time.

I don’t own a smart phone. How do I prove my COVID-19 status?

You can receive a paper copy of your COVID-19 status. More details are available here.

Please carry this with you so you can show your COVID-19 status when attending a match.  

I don’t have the NHS App, how do I get it?

The latest guidance on the NHS app is available here.

Do I need to take a PCR test?

No, a PCR test is not necessary to attend matches, but fans are urged not to attend if they are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms.  

If you do not have proof of vaccination, you should be able to show you have had a negative lateral flow test result in the 48 hours prior to kick-off.

Where do I get a lateral flow test from? 

Lateral flow tests are available for free from your local test centre or pharmacy. You can also order tests here.  

What about people aged under-18? 

Under-18s will not need to certify their COVID status.

I am concerned about attending matches. Is it safe?

All EFL clubs have worked tirelessly to ensure they are ‘fan-ready’ so that supporters have been able to return as safely as possible.

Football is one of the most regulated industries in crowd management and our clubs have huge experience of the operational delivery of football matches.

EFL clubs are following training ground and matchday protocols that have been designed to reflect the current situation - they are flexible enough to ensure we can take the most appropriate measures if required and most importantly keep everyone as safe as possible.

This includes all clubs implementing COVID status certification and requiring fans to comply with a Code of Conduct.

Supporters should ensure they fully understand these guidelines before attending a match and all fans should continue to follow the latest public health guidance.

Fans should not attend EFL matches if they are unwell or if there is any risk they can pass on COVID-19.

The EFL and its clubs will continue to follow the latest Government guidance regarding COVID-19 safety protocols.

What are the entrance requirements?   

Ticket holders must agree to follow the conditions set by: 

  • Ticketing terms and conditions 
  • Supporter Code of Conduct 
  • Ground Regulations   

The Supporter Code of Conduct sets out COVID-19 regulations and behaviours that supporters must follow to help keep everybody safe on matchday.  

See: Clubs' Codes of Conducts for fans

You will be asked to read and accept the conditions at the point of purchase. If you are booking on behalf of others, you must also ensure they are aware of the regulations and are able to comply with the terms.   

Are away supporters allowed at matches? 

Yes, away supporters are permitted to attend matches, provided they have obtained a ticket for the correct area of the stadium.  

Visiting clubs will sell tickets to their own supporters, so please contact your own club for information, or to make a purchase.

Entrance requirements will be set by the host club and may differ from some of the processes you are used to following.

Please ensure you are aware of these before attending matches. Information will be available from either the host or the visiting club.     

 

Arrival at the stadium

What time should I arrive at the stadium? 

Additional checks for Certification will likely add to the entry time to the stadium. A suggested arrival time may be printed on your ticket or contained in your booking confirmation.   

Fans should always arrive at least 30 minutes prior to kick-off and should make allowances for time required to complete any additional security or COVID-status checks.  

Will there be security checks? 

Yes, clubs will determine a process for checking supporters before they enter the stadium.   

Searches will be conducted by trained stewards. Clubs may elect to use walk-through arches or handheld screening devices to limit physical contact.     

Please check in advance to ensure you are aware of any entrance regulations, relating either to permitted items or ticket and personal ID requirements.  

Can I bring a bag to the stadium? 

Usual bag conditions with the club will apply though where possible, please try to avoid bringing bags or other items which may add to the time taken to check your items before you can pass safely into the stadium.       

 

Inside the stadium

Do I need to wear a face covering? 

From Friday 10 December, and in line with Government guidance, all supporters aged 11 and over will be required to wear a face covering when located in indoor areas, other than when eating or drinking, or where exempt. 

Face coverings are advised though not required to be worn by supporters when they are in their allocated seats in the stadium bowl.   

What other rules or guidance are supporters expected to follow? 

Supporters are asked to: 

  • Follow the Supporter Code of Conduct 
  • Remember your face covering
  • Wash your hands or use sanitiser regularly 
  • Be considerate of others and help to keep everyone safe 
  • Only occupy your designated seat 
  • Follow one-way systems throughout the stadium and adhere to any other signage 
  • Follow any instructions issued to you by stewards or other stadium staff 

Are catering services available inside stadiums?  

Yes, catering services are available, although supporters may notice some changes to the location or queuing and service systems used at these outlets.  

Please be considerate to others, including staff members, and follow any instructions.  

In line with existing Government legislation, alcoholic beverages must not be taken into the seating bowl and may not be consumed within sight of the pitch.