Following a relaxation of coronavirus restrictions, club’s in parts of England will now be able to welcome a limited number of spectators to their grounds.
England’s national lockdown ended at midnight on Wednesday, paving the way for clubs in tier one of the new restrictions to accommodate up to 4,000 fans in their stadiums, with up to 2,000 allowed in tier-two areas, where stadium rules will be 50% of capacity or the standard 2,000 – whichever is smaller.
For indoor sports, there will be a limit of 1,000 spectators in tiers 1 and 2.
A number of EFL clubs will welcome back fans on Wednesday, with supporters returning to Premier League grounds from Thursday.
Carlisle’s home tie against Salford City in League Two (20:00 CAT) on Wednesday will mark the first game with supporters present since a restriction on spectators at football grounds was put in place following the outbreak of Covid-19 in March.
A clamor for fans to return to grounds has been on for a while, with fans missing the excitement of a typical match-day atmosphere unmatched by any artificial crowd noises or following games from home on TV or radio.
A petition that gained more than 200,000 signatures was launched calling on the UK government to allow fans back in stadiums with Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly indicating to Members of Parliament last month that reopening turnstiles as soon as possible was “a personal priority”.
Although reports suggest there is a desire within the UK government to conduct a test-run on events with a larger number of spectators in the new year, there is no fixed pathway or plan in place for it to happen yet.