Club Statement: Government Covid-19 Autumn / Winter Plan

Bradford City AFC has moved to inform supporters of the implications the UK Government’s recent Autumn/Winter Plan announcement could have - including the potential introduction of COVID-19 vaccine passports.

Earlier this month, details were published from Parliament in response to tackling the ongoing pandemic as the autumn and winter months approach. 

In addition to a proposed return to working from home - and face coverings being made compulsory in crowded public spaces - the plan also includes the possibility of COVID certification being required at venues where attendances are in excess of 10,000. 

With the Utilita Energy Stadium’s average Sky Bet League Two attendance this season currently sat at over 15,500, this ‘plan’ - if applied - would mean Valley Parade would be operating under the implementation of COVID-19 vaccine passports, whereby each supporter in attendance would need to provide proof they have received both doses of any valid COVID-19 vaccination. 

Crucially, the Government could implement this plan at relatively short notice, at any point from now, meaning club officials are currently conducting the necessary planning and preparation for the potential introduction of the aforementioned measures. 

Therefore Bradford City AFC would like to take this opportunity to advise supporters on the potential measures to be introduced and allow preparation for all eventualities. 

The club will endeavour to keep supporters informed on this matter and will communicate details of any potential plan as and when it may be activated, at the earliest-possible opportunity. 

City’s chief executive officer, Ryan Sparks, said: “There are ongoing discussions between government and footballing authorities, centred around potential restrictions and mitigations as the winter months approach and COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise. 

“As a club that cannot operate as we intend to within the proposed 10,000 capacity limit, without the introduction of the prospective measures, we could be required, by law, to potentially bring in a vaccine passport system at Valley Parade. 

“We have a responsibility to protect people and ensure a safe environment for everyone who visits the stadium - supporters, players and staff alike. 

“And, should this plan be activated by the powers that be, we will be required to introduce strict measures which could potentially result in supporters who are unvaccinated or cannot provide proof of a negative lateral flow test being unable to attend home fixtures, unless medically exempt.

“Adding to the complexity of this arising situation, we have no clear timeframe as to when this could be imposed. It is our understanding that these measures may be brought into effect at seven days’ notice, making planning and foresight for these potential eventualities crucial. This comes in addition to the fact we are not certain on the finer details of any potential plan, given the minor differences between measures recently brought into effect in Scotland and Wales. 

“While I appreciate this could put some of our supporters in difficult position, we have taken the opportunity to be as open and honest as possible, in giving you as much notice as we can to prepare for the potential introduction of these measures.”

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