Although the COVID pandemic is far from over, a relatively high vaccination rate in the UK has allowed life to slowly return to some pre-pandemic “normalcy,” with restrictions, of course.
For football, this means 10,000 fans will be allowed in the ground for the last two matches of the season, including Liverpool’s last match against Crystal Palace at Anfield.
A return of fans, even a relatively small number, will be exhilarating for players and fans alike.
However, this does not mean that caution should be thrown out the window. As such, the Liverpool City Council’s Ground Safety Advisory Group and Public Health Department are advising fans to get tested 24-36 hours before the match.
“The return of football fans to Anfield for the last home game of the season is a landmark moment in our slow return to normality from the grip of lockdown,” Matt Ashton, director of public health at Liverpool City Council, said.
“Whilst it is a cause for celebration, the threat of coronavirus, including the new COVID-19 strain (originally detected in India), is very real within our city region.
“It is vitally important that we continue to protect each other, our loved ones, the community and the NHS. Getting tested when attending events is a key part of that.
“I’d like to thank Liverpool Football Club for their support in encouraging their fans to take this test. We will mobilize community testing centers to make the tests as accessible to as many fans as possible. We would also like to remind supporters that testing kits are available from various locations within the community and can even be sent directly to their home.
“The test takes no time at all and does not hurt. By getting a negative result, fans will be able to watch the game with the peace of mind that they are doing so safely.”
Until this pandemic is well and truly behind us, it’s probably good advice to get tested regularly ahead of any large gatherings, especially those where you’re likely to be drinking and singing loudly.
This is a great example of clear messaging from Liverpool city health officials, as well as backing up that messaging with plans to meet the public demand for extra testing. Well done all around.
Get tested, and then cheer on the Reds!