Premier League Backs Vaccine Passports Over Fans’ Stadium Tests

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Testing fans for coronavirus at U.K. soccer events has been a “pain in the neck” and it would be easier to use proof of vaccination to grant entry to stadiums, according to an executive at England’s Premier League.

“Vaccine passports” would allow people to “get in and out of venues quickly,” Bill Bush, director of policy at the country’s highest soccer league, told a parliamentary hearing on Monday, tentatively backing their use.

But he said vaccine certificates would still be a “burden” and would only be worth it if it meant fans no longer have to adhere to social distancing in stadiums, he said. Bush also said he is hopeful all pandemic restrictions will be lifted from June 21 -- the earliest date for doing so in the government’s road map out of lockdown -- because sporting venues are “barely breaking even.”

Many fans have been tested for Covid-19 as part of a series of trials used by the government to understand how best to safely reopen big venues during the pandemic. Spectators were also allowed into stadiums without Covid tests -- but in reduced capacity -- for the final two rounds of the Premier League season, which ended Sunday.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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