According to the BBC, a consortium of elite British sporting organisations have endorsed the use of vaccination passports as a potential measure to encourage fans to return to stadiums.
The FA, Premier League, English Football League (EFL), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Rugby Football Union (RFU), and Rugby Football League (RFL), among others, stated in a letter to the heads of the main political parties that they ‘see the advantages’ of the solution.
Credible option to bring fans back
Vaccine passports were also presented as a “credible” option for “bringing more fans safely back as quickly as possible,” but such initiatives “must not be discriminatory, should protect privacy, and have clear exit criteria,” according to the organisations.
Wide outdoor sports stadiums will be able to host up to 25 percentage capacity with a limit of 10,000 attendees from 17 May, according to the UK government’s latest blueprint for relaxing national lockout limits, with steps loosening further on 21 June.
Large-scale activities will restart in Scotland on 17 May, with up to 13,000 fans expected to attend the Euro 2020 fixtures at Hampden Park, and up to 20,000 expected to attend the FA Cup Final on 15 May.
Wales would have stricter restrictions than England and Scotland, with a range of cultural and sports festivals scheduled at outdoor venues during the summer, with attendance ranging from 200 to 1,000 people.
For all UK fixtures, social distancing steps will be applied, but this may not be the case at the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, where organisers expect to fill the Crucible to 75 percent capacity for the semi-finals and maximum capacity for the final, including rigorous coronavirus monitoring taking place at all competitions.
Dramatic financial effect
Trevor Birch, Chairman of the EFL, has also backed vaccine passports, saying: “Without COVID certification, we may not be able to get full fans back in stadiums, which will have a dramatic financial effect.”
Despite their support for the proposed roadmap, the sporting bodies have stated that the 25% capability limit will be inadequate to end the COVID financial crisis in sport.
The message, which was also signed by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon, and the Silverstone motor-racing circuit, called for ‘certainty as soon as possible’ so that many major sporting activities scheduled for late June and onwards’ could be planned quickly and effectively.
The party went on to say about vaccination certification: “There are many issues to be addressed including how technology would work and its ease of use at major events, for both the attendees and the organisers.”