Fans could need both jabs to attend Premier League matches under new plans

Norwich City were very proud of how the pilot event on Saturday went. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus

Norwich City were very proud of how the pilot event on Saturday went. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Only double-jabbed football fans may be able to attend large events and Premier League matches from autumn under new government plans.

Prime minister Boris Johnson appears to be keen on extending the future use of vaccine passports from nightclubs to sporting stadiums and events with more than 20,000 spectators.

According to the PA news agency, talks are in early phases with the Premier League to discuss whether supporters who have not been double-jabbed could be barred from entry.

The use of vaccine passports could also be extended to lower divisions and other sports in England as ministers seek to reduce the surge of Covid-19 cases as other restrictions are ended.

While no final decisions have been made, it is currently being discussed whether vaccine passports could be introduced for seated events with a capacity of 20,000 people and over.

In unseated events such as music gigs, where there are greater concerns about strangers mingling and spreading Covid-19, the threshold for their introduction could be as low as 5,000 attendees.

A Government source said: "It's important that fans can continue to watch sporting events over the autumn, which is why we're exploring the role vaccines might play in this. This will not only allow full capacity stadiums but has the added bonus of incentivising people of all ages to go and get their jab."

Canaries fans have been nervously awaiting clarification on the rules, with Daniel Farke's side returning to Premier League duty against Liverpool on August 14.

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One area still said to be under discussion is whether a recent negative test could allow entry to football matches, but their use has been ruled out for nightclubs.

The prime minister sparked a backlash when he made the nightclubs announcement on Monday, as he ended most of England's remaining coronavirus restrictions and allowed the venues to reopen for the first time since March last year.

He said they could also be made a condition of entry for "other venues where large crowds gather", adding: "Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient."

Making their use mandatory in the Premier League from October, however, would give time to phase in their use with the season starting on August 14.

The English Football League declined to comment, but it is understood contingency plans have been under discussion in case the government advised the use of vaccine passports.

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has warned nightclubs have the potential to cause "super spreading events", but it is unclear to what extent what role football matches have in spreading Covid-19.


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