Fans back in Germany venue after yawning gap

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The German association football club Hansa Rostock’s 1-0 third division win against Hallescher FC on March 20th, 2021 saw 777 fans in attendance, the first time supporters have been admitted to a match in Germany after five months as the country battles with the rest of Europe against the second wave of COVID-19.

‘DW’ stated that all fans had to undergo rapid coronavirus tests and were registered before entering Hansa Rostock’s 29,000-seat Ostseestadion. Wearing of face coverings were made mandatory and supporters had to stick to physical distancing rules. The club stated that none of the tests conducted turned out to be positive.

FC Hansa Rostock is a German association football club based in the City of Rostock in the German State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. They have emerged as one of the most successful clubs from the former East Germany and have made several appearances in the top-flight Bundesliga. The 29,000-capacity Ostseestadion is the home stadium of FC Hansa Rostock.

Hallescher FC, sometimes still called by its former popular name Chemie Halle, is a German association football club based in Halle an der Saale, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. The club presently plays in the 3. Liga, the third highest level in the German football league system. The 15,057-capacity Erdgas Sportpark is the home of Hallescher FC.

‘DW’ quoted Rostock Chairman Robert Marien as stating, “Everything has gone off smoothly. We will now carry out an internal evaluation.”

‘Daily Sabah’ quoted Rostock Mayor Claus Ruhe Madsen as terming the matchup groundbreaking for other sports and businesses, adding, “In the end, it is about our life with corona. This has to be understood.”

Madsen and authorities in the Baltic Sea port City gave the nod to the return of fans because Rostock has reported very few virus numbers for weeks.

“Such experiments could be possible in regions with a low incidence like Rostock, and under strict regulations and observations,” said Emil Reisinger, a doctor who advises the Government in Rostock’s State of Mecklenburg-western Pomerania.

The Rostock club plans to share its insight with other interested clubs and representatives from the German Football Federation (DFB) and other sports federations were also present as observers during the fixture.

Two officials from the Bundesliga club Union Berlin were also present as that club has been chosen for a similar project in the German capital which wants to welcome back spectators to sports and cultural events.

‘Daily Sabah’ added that infection numbers in Germany are rising again amid fears of a third coronavirus wave, mainly with more infectious variants, and new COVID-19 restrictions are likely to be put in place.

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