Vaccine passports being considered for Premier League and large scale spectator events

Norwich City fans at Carrow Road.
Fans of Premier League clubs may have to prove vaccine status Credit: PA

Only fully vaccinated people may be able to attend large scale events such as music festivals, like Latitude, Premier League football matches or anything which draws a crowd of more than 20,000.

Its been reported that the Prime Minister is considering making it a prerequisite that only the double jabbed can attend mass spectator events from October.

Latitude festival near Southwold was attended by 40,000 people Credit: ITV News Anglia

The region has already taken part in trial events. At Latitude in Henham Park, Suffolk, is part of the government's Events Research Programme. It means people will have to show they have been vaccinated twice or tested negative to be allowed in.

The same was true of Silverstone in Northamptonshire, which welcomed 120,000 people for the weekend of the British Formula One Grand Prix.

The British Grand Prix attracted 120,000 fans

The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the event was allowed to go ahead in part because of the successful roll out of the vaccine. He said: "We are continuing to make progress, and events like this will pave the way for everyone to enjoy live sport and culture together safely once more."

The rules behind test events

What is a test event?

The events research programme was commissioned by Downing Street earlier this year to test how mass events and gatherings could be held safely and what measures would need to be put in place to make them safe.

Events acorss the country were selected to be part of the programme, including the Euro 2020 semi-final and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circut.

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How do you get into the event?

Ticket holders were then asked to either provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test taken before travel on the day of arrival or proof of full vaccination, with the second doe being received at least two weeks before the day of the event.

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What happens after?

After the event, the government will use the data to measure the risk of Covid-19 infection of those who are at the mass events by looking at those who then get a PCR test and then test positive.

Research from the first set of pilot events found no major outbreaks.

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Talks are in an early phase with the Premier League to discuss whether supporters who have not been double-jabbed could be barred from entry. Any decision could impact hundreds of Norwich City fans.

And the use of vaccine passports could also be extended to lower divisions - hitting the region's other clubs, as well as 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:

Organisers of the Latitude Festival even laid on a vaccination bus to encourage people to get their jabs. The single-decker, staffed by NHS workers, is between the festival campsite and the main arena on the site at Henham Park in Suffolk.

Visitors, aged over 18, can get a first or second dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine on a walk-in basis.

French president Emmanuel Macron introduced a health pass for cultural venues in a bid to drive up the vaccination rate,

Football's governing bodies had been hoping for no restrictions ahead of the new season, which kicks off next month, but it is understood both the Premier League and the English Football League have been planning for such an eventuality.

The Premier League has been liaising with clubs and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to establish the best way for fans to provide proof of vaccination, but it is not expected that this will be required at the start of the season.

Premier League clubs are expected to use their pre-season friendly matches to help them trial certification. The EFL has previously said it was awaiting government advice and has also been making contingency plans in case of such an eventuality.