Where are football matches going ahead in the UK and what are the rules for fans?

Fans showing their Covid passes before the Fulham vs Sheffield United on Monday Credit: PA

With Omicron not letting up for Christmas many are asking if the Boxing Day fixtures can go ahead and with the four government's of the UK all taking their own path, what is going on?

Wales made the first move to limit the Christmas period sporting events on Monday, with all games from Boxing Day taking place behind closed doors.

Whereas the other three nations have all either yet to make their decision or have committed to letting them go ahead under current restrictions.

Covid passes are required to gain entry to all and there is the possibility not many of the games will even go ahead in the first place with players and support staff testing positive.

Six of the 10 matches due to be played in the Premier League last weekend were postponed because of outbreaks within clubs.


From Boxing Day onwards, sporting events in Wales will be played behind closed doors.Economy Minister Vaughan Gething announced the new measures on Monday as Omicron cases continued to rise.

Where fans are allowed in the UK, a Coivd pass is required Credit: PA

The new measures will apply to indoor and outdoor sporting events. Mr Gething confirmed a £3m Spectator Sports Fund will be available to support clubs and sporting venues affected by the latest measures.

He said: “Sporting events over the Christmas period are one of the big highlights of the year. Unfortunately, the new Omicron variant is a significant development in the pandemic and could cause a large number of infections."

He added: “Crowds will come back as soon as possible. We want everyone to be here to enjoy their favourite sports.”


In England, sporting events are still governed by the Plan B rules that came into effect on December 15.

There was heavy speculation the government would announce new rules for England on Monday but after a long Cabinet meeting, Boris Johnson said there was still a lot they did not know about Omicron so they "would keep the data under constant review."

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He added he ruled nothing out with regards to implementing more restrictions and urged people to get their boosters and "exercise caution" in the meantime.

The Premier League said a majority of clubs were in favour of playing as many planned fixtures as possible over the Christmas period after a shareholder meeting on Monday.

The League said in a statement: "It is the league’s collective intention to continue the current fixture schedule where safely possible."

This means the key Boxing Day football fixtures will go ahead with fans in stadiums in England if they haven't been cancelled due to staff members having Covid.

If any of the stadiums have room for more than 10,000 people customers will need to present an NHS Covid Pass on the NHS app.

To get the pass people need to either have a valid negative lateral flow test, be double jabbed or have proof of recent infection.

Masks are not required at outdoor events, but some stadiums may ask people to wear them.


On Tuesday Nicola Sturgeon effectively forced all football matches to be held behind closed doors.

The First Minister told MSPs in the Scottish Parliament that crowds at outdoor public events in Scotland will be capped at 500 from Boxing Day for at least three weeks.

Ms Sturgeon said: “This will of course make sports matches, including football, effectively spectator-free over this three-week period."

If some football matches do allow up to the cap of 500 fans to attend, then a Covid pass would be required.

Fans at the Middlesbrough vs Bournemouth on Sunday Credit: PA

Northern Ireland

Football matches are continuing in Northern Ireland but a Covid pass for entry to any event where more than 10,000 people will be present.

A Covid pass in Northern Ireland requires either proof of vaccination, proof of a negative lateral flow test or proof of recently testing positive.