The government in the German state of Bavaria has today (Tuesday) relaxed restrictions on fan attendance, paving the way for Bundesliga football club Bayern Munich to welcome up to 10,000 supporters for its next home match on February 5.
Stadiums in Bavaria will be able to open at a maximum capacity of 25% or with 10,000 fans – whichever is the smaller number. Bavaria is currently one of the few German states that has a ban on fan attendance but this will change from Thursday.
Fans attending sporting events in the state will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or proof of a recent negative test. Fans will also be required to wear masks, while alcohol will be banned at venues.
Some states, such as Saxony-Anhalt, currently allow for up to 50% attendance, although attendance in other states such as North Rhine-Westphalia is much more strict, with only 750 fans at Borussia Dortmund’s most recent home match against SC Freiburg.
Bayern is due to host RB Leipzig at the Allianz Arena on February 5 and online tickets are now available for members to purchase.
On December 2, attendance at sporting events in Germany was capped at 15,000 to combat the spread of COVID-19. At the time, some German states had already banned all fans from attending sporting events.
Stricter guidelines have since been implemented and Hans-Joachim Watzke, chief executive of Dortmund, has called for the rules to be relaxed.
Speaking to German newspaper Bild, he said: “Almost three quarters of Germans are vaccinated. For months there have been sufficient vaccination offers for every single citizen in this country.
“We now know a lot more about Omicron. Nevertheless, we sometimes allow almost 90 percent of capacity indoors and only 750 people in outdoor stadiums. People are locked out in the open air. That’s not proportionate, that’s not science either, nobody understands that anymore.”