Masks, ID and social distancing - Everything you need to know about fans returning to Carrow Road
- Credit: Archant
It is the news Norwich City fans will have been waiting for ever since Jamal Lewis scored the last goal in front of a crowd at Carrow Road.
Pending the government’s official green light, a limited number of supporters will be able to return to the stadium again from the Preston North End tie on Saturday, September 19.
The club unveiled its plans on Monday evening, confirming that it plans to welcome crowds of 8,000 to the first four home games of the season.Now, season ticket holders have been written to with further details of just what matchdays will look like for the time being - and this handy guide will tell you all you need to know.
• How will tickets be allocated?
The club has set four windows in which supporters can apply to secure seats at the game - in a system designed to guarantee all season ticket holders are able to attend at least one out of the four games if they choose.
From 9am on Monday, season ticket holders will have until 5pm on Tuesday to apply for their chosen game. Then, on Wednesday, September 16, they will then be able to make their second choice known.
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A third window on Thursday, September 17 will allow home and junior members to apply for seats before any leftover tickets go on general sale in the fourth window, between 9am and 5pm on Friday, September 18.
• Will I get to sit in my usual seat?
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Due to social distancing measures, season ticket holders will be unable to choose their usual seat - or any specific other. Instead, they will be able to specify a stand and a block of preference, with seats then allocated on a “best available” basis.
Due to these measures, only a limited number of spectators will be allowed in each area of the ground and therefore applicants are by no means guaranteed to be sat in their stand and block of choice.
• Will I be able to sit with my friends and family?
The club has put measures in place to allow people in the same social bubble to be seated together. In order to do this supporters must have their club accounts linked as friends and family. This can be done through the ticket office or the ticketing section of the club’s website.
The club has capped the maximum number of tickets in one social bubble to 24 and while bubbles will be put in the same section if possible, it remains to be seen whether members will be allow to sit directly next to one another or spread out.
• Will I use my season ticket to get in?
No, for these four fixtures new paper tickets will be issued to supporters. However, season ticket cards will retain their validity when the stadium returns to full capacity.
• How can I access the ground?
Ordinary turnstiles will not be in use - instead supporters will be asked to access the ground through four allocated access points. These will be opened 90 minutes before kick-off and supporters are encouraged to arrive as early as possible. Those who arrive within 30 minutes of kick-off are warned they may not get in.
One way systems will be in place around the ground and crowd control measures used to ensure people can get in promptly and safely.
• Will I need to bring a face covering?
Yes, face covering will be compulsory for arrival and all indoor areas of the ground, including the concourse, toilets and bar areas. However, fans will be permitted to remove their masks once in their seats.
• Do I need to bring anything else?
Along with matchday tickets and face covering, supporters are required to bring a form of photographic ID. This may be a driver’s licence, passport or any other photographic form of identification. This is to allow to club to carry out track and trace measures, in line with government recommendations.
One thing you will not need to bring is cash, with all matchday refreshments accepting cashless payments only.
• Will I be able to move seats once I’m in the ground?
With the seating carefully allocated to ensure social distancing can be observed, no supporter will be permitted to move seats once they are inside the ground. Supporters who do move face the risk of being ejected and missing the match.
• What will happen after the game?
Following the match, there will be staggered exits from the ground, with each section informed of when they can leave via the public address system. This has been designed to prevent bottle necks of people and allow supporters to leave in a safe and secure manner.
• Is there anything else I need to know about attending?
Lifts will not be in operation in the ground, therefore access to upper tiers will be limited. Anybody who ordinarily sits in upper tiers but has limited mobility will need to bear this in mind when selecting their area.
• Will I get my money back if I do not wish to attend?
Yes, the club has confirmed that any season ticket holder that does not wish to attend games, or that can not attend, will be given a pro-rata rebate.
This will be paid in the form of credit on your supporter account, which can either be used to purchase future match tickets - such as a potential play-off final - or can be withdrawn as credit to your bank account.
• Can somebody come in my place if I can not make it?
Match tickets can be transferred, however, the club’s ticket office must be informed of this ahead of time on 01603 721902.
• How else can I watch the games?
Season ticket holders that are not able to attend the games will be given free passes to watch matchday coverage through the club’s iFollow channel. This will also apply to any mid-week away fixtures until full capacity can be restore.
However, away fixtures on weekends can only be viewed by purchasing £10 match passes.
• Are these arrangements set in stone? And what will happen after the four games?
All the arrangements, which have been put in place by the club and its safety advisory group, are pending the government’s official approval.
The club says it is expecting a further announcement from Westminster in the coming days, which will also set about what could happen after this period.
• What are the four games and when are they?
City’s first four home games are as follows:
• Saturday, September 19 (3pm) - Preston North End
• Saturday, October 3 (3pm) - Derby County
• Tuesday, October 20 (7.45pm) - Birmingham City
• Saturday, October 24 (3pm) - Wycombe Wanderers