London (AFP) – British sports chiefs say they would accept the introduction of coronavirus “vaccine passports” if they enable the return of capacity crowds as quickly as possible.
In a letter to lawmakers, a number of bodies including the Football Association, Premier League, Rugby Football Union and England and Wales Cricket Board said current social-distancing rules would be “insufficient to end sport’s Covid financial crisis”.
Test events are being launched over the coming weeks as part of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, with a FA Cup semi-final and the FA Cup final among pilots for the “Covid status certification” scheme.
Britain plans to issue identification showing whether people are vaccinated, have antibodies or have tested negative, despite opposition from lawmakers in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s own party.
Johnson and opposition leader Keir Starmer are among several politicians to be told by sporting organisations that vaccine and testing passports are a “credible option” to achieve full venues.
“All of our sports can see the benefit that a Covid certification process offers in getting more fans safely back to their sport as quickly as possible,” the joint letter says. “We know that our stadia can only be fully filled with an assurance process.
“This process must ensure that everyone can access stadia and must include arrangements that would verify a negative Covid test or an antibody test or vaccination certification.
“The final approach must not be discriminatory, should protect privacy, and have clear exit criteria.”
Under current plans, from May 17 stadiums in England will be allowed to open with a 25-percent capacity limit, up to a maximum of 10,000 spectators.
The current plan is for all restrictions on social contact to be lifted on June 21.
Britain has administered around 32 million first vaccine doses — around 60 percent of the adult population — in one of the world’s most successful inoculation drives.
But even with the swift rollout, full venues at major sports events are understood to be unlikely until late in the English sporting summer at the earliest.
A government spokesman said: “We welcome the constructive approach from major British sports as we explore how testing Covid certification and other steps can help get more fans back into stadiums and other large events safely.
“We want as many fans as possible to be able to enjoy a great British summer of sport, safely.”
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Famous clubs battle for Champions League group slots
- Alaba free-kick gives Real Madrid win to start title defence
- Roma squeeze past Salernitana, Immobile fires Lazio to Bologna win
- Chippa inflict first loss on Orlando Pirates’ new ‘plumber’ coach
- Alexis Sanchez makes Marseille debut in Brest draw
- ‘Fair tackle’ as Tuchel insists no hard feelings after Conte clash
- ‘Simply extraordinary’ Musiala scores again as Bayern beat Wolfsburg
- Liverpool vs Crystal Palace on TV: Reds host Vieira’s Palace
- Japan star Kubo nets winner on Real Sociedad debut
- Conte, Tuchel see red as Kane snatches Spurs draw at Chelsea