The Culture Secretary has announced return of fans to elite sports events and reopening of grassroots sport from 2 December. Supporters will be welcomed back into stadia and sports venues in limited numbers from 2 December, when the current restrictions on movement in England come to an end. The current Government regulations, with hospitality and leisure venues closed, came in to force at the start of November.
The Club had been running streaming events of away games inside our stadium, which had to be halted, and plans for fans to return to games were put on hold. Bees fans will also be aware that test events were held at some friendly and Sky Bet EFL matches in other parts of the country earlier this year to allow fans in reduced numbers to watch in stadiums, but these were halted. Today's announcement by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden outlines the plans for the coming weeks. All decisions will be based on the current tier system put in place by the Government to protect against the spread of Covid-19. See more here.
Elite sport clubs, which includes Brentford, and events hosted outdoors in tier one locations will be able to welcome up to a maximum of 4,000 fans or 50 per cent of stadium capacity - whatever is lower. In tier two (high alert) locations the cap is set at 2,000 supporters or 50 percent of stadium capacity. However in tier three locations, fans will not be permitted to attend elite sporting fixtures in line with hospitality venues and other large event venues being closed. Elite sport in tier three locations will still continue behind closed doors. See the full announcement here.
The Football Association and EFL have given initial response to the news. More will follow from the authorities, and the Club, in the coming days. The FA has welcomed the news and its statement can be seen here. The EFL response can be seen below.