Spurs to test NHS COVID Pass for friendly games

Tottenham Hotspur has become the first English Premier League football club to announce an NHS COVID Pass trial, amid Government plans to ban unvaccinated fans from attending major events.

The club has said it will be trialling the use of the NHS COVID Pass to verify the vaccination or COVID-19 status of supporters attending its men’s and women’s friendly matches against Arsenal on August 8 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Tottenham said: “This follows recent Government announcements and the necessity for the club to begin preparations for the potential of full vaccination against COVID-19 being a condition of entry to large events from October 1.”

All adult supporters attending the Arsenal double-header will be required to present their NHS COVID Pass, generated by the NHS App, on their mobile device as they enter the stadium to confirm they are either fully vaccinated or have received a negative COVID-19 test result within 48 hours of kick-off. U18s will be exempt and will only require a valid match ticket for entry.

Chelsea has today (Wednesday) followed suit, stating that fans will need to provide evidence they are at low risk of transmitting COVID-19 to enter Stamford Bridge and Kingsmeadow this season for men’s and women’s games, respectively.

Starting from Chelsea’s men’s friendly against Tottenham on August 4, supporters will need to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (with both doses received at least 14 days prior to the match) or proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test (from age 11 and over) carried out within 48 hours of the fixture kicking off.

Proof of full vaccination will need to be supplied via the NHS COVID Pass on the NHS app, or a vaccination letter. Supporters displaying a negative Lateral Flow result are required do so on the NHS app, or via a text message or email from NHS Test and Trace.

Sports venues in England were this month cleared to open at full capacity from July 19 after the UK Government announced that COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted. The Government announced on July 5 that there would be no legal requirement on the use of COVID-19 status certification as a condition of entry for visitors to “any domestic setting”.

However, the Government has since backtracked on this stance and it has been reported in recent days that spectators will need to demonstrate fully vaccinated status to attend events hosting more than 20,000 attendees.

The NHS COVID Pass has been utilised during the Government’s Events Research Programme to assess the wider return of fans in England, which has included Wembley Stadium’s UEFA Euro 2020 matches, the Wimbledon tennis championships and Formula 1’s British Grand Prix.

The Telegraph newspaper said COVID-19 certification is also likely to be deployed for the Community Shield match between Manchester City and Leicester City at Wembley on August 7.

Tottenham added: “The trial will only add one step to the existing stadium entry process that supporters are familiar with and will allow us to control the flow of supporters into the stadium as the additional check is made.

“It also further ensures the safety and comfort of our supporters, players and staff as we begin hosting capacity crowds for the first time since March 2020.”

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