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Premier League urges government to allow fans back into stadiums

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After comments from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, there are fears that supporters could be forbidden from entering grounds for another six months

The Premier League has released an open letter urging the UK Government to allow fans back in stadiums as soon as possible.

The letter, which was co-signed by representatives from the English Football League (EFL), Football Association (FA), and Women’s FA, argues that recent test matches have demonstrated that fans can be allowed to safely return back into grounds in limited numbers.

Last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that new government restrictions designed to contain the spread of coronavirus could be in place for the next six months, which postponed plans for the return of fans to live sporting events in England starting on October 1.

Fans in some European countries, such as Germany, have been allowed to return to stadiums in a limited capacity, with supporters also able to return to UEFA club and international matches starting with the upcoming international break.

Though fans have not been allowed back for official matches in the UK, the letter argues that 11 test matches have shown it is possible to have supporters attend games safely.

“With the EFL, Premier League, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship already staging 11 successful test events recently, we have demonstrated that we can deliver matches safely,” the letter reads.

“The sooner we can return, the sooner we can reunite communities and support local jobs, livelihoods, regional businesses and also the national economy.

“We will continue to urge Government to allow us to return fans safely to stadiums. It is positive progress that major arts and music venues have been told they can run socially-distanced events indoors.

“And now football should be allowed to do the same – in highly regulated and stewarded outdoor environments.”

The letter goes on to outline how teams will look to ensure as safe an environment as possible for fans.

“Stadium environments can be modified and carefully managed,” it reads. “Measures could include screening spectators before they enter the ground, installing temperature checks, requiring masks to be worn, one-way systems and providing a code of conduct for all those attending on a matchday.

“This will all be bolstered by deep-cleaning practices to help further reduce the risk of virus transmission.”

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About Kirigaya Kazuto

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Kazuto Kirigaya, born as Kazuto Narusaka, is a fictional character and the protagonist of the Sword Art Online series of light novels written by Reki Kawahara.

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