The Blues pandemic protocols for fans’ safety



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Stamford Bridge upgrades Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

The Premier League team Chelsea Football Club (UK) is delighted that it will be able to host games at its home arena Stamford Bridge at full capacity for the upcoming 2021-2022 seasons.

The ‘Chelsea FC’ stated that Stage Four of the UK Government’s lockdown exit strategy ends all limits on people attending sports events in the United Kingdom. Chelsea F.C. is thrilled to open its gates to over 40,000 supporters once again as the champions of Europe return to action.

The Chelsea Football Club is an English professional football club based in Fulham, West London (UK). Founded in 1905, the club competes in the Premier League, the top division of English football.

Stamford Bridge is a football stadium in Fulham, adjacent to the borough of Chelsea in South West London, commonly referred to as ‘The Bridge’. It is the home of Premier League club F.C. The capacity of the stadium is 40,834.

The 2021-2022 Premier League will be the 30th season of the Premier League, the top English professional league for association football clubs since its establishment in 1992. This will be the third season to use the video assistant referee review system. It will be the second season to have a February winter break. It will start on August 14th, 2021 and will end on May 22nd, 2022.

The ‘Chelsea FC’ further stated that tickets for that game are still available online to season ticket holders and members until 5 pm on August 3rd. A small number of Club Chelsea hospitality tickets remain on sale for Chelsea’s opening Premier League match against its peer team Crystal Palace F.C. on August 14th.
 

COVID-induced changes

For most fans, this will be the first time back at Stamford Bridge since the pandemic, with a limited number of supporters only present for three games last season, against its peer team Leeds United F.C., the Russian professional football club FC Krasnodar and Premier League team Leicester City F.C.
 

Changes are in place for fans visiting Stamford Bridge:

 

Face coverings

Supporters will be required to wear masks in all indoor areas of the stadium, including the concourses, except when they are eating or drinking. Masks are not required when seated or walking outside the venue.

The use of handwashing facilities is highly recommended as well as hand sanitizers which are located throughout the ‘Bridge’.
 

Size matters

Chelsea Football Club is dead serious about the safety and security of its supporters as well as its colleagues. Together with the police and other partners the club continually review its operations to ensure it meets the exacting standards required of a large venue such as Stamford Bridge.

Entry conditions in relation to bag sizes have been modified and will now apply a strict limit on the size of bags which can be taken into the facility.

No bags larger than A4 will be permitted. This equates to 30cm x 20cm x 10cm, about the size of a standard handbag. This will improve security and also reduce congestion at the ingress point to the site and into the stadium.

Due to spatial issues, baggage deposit facilities will not be available. So, fans have been strongly advised not to bring any bags to Stamford Bridge.
 

Going cashless

Supporters will do well to know that Stamford Bridge is now a cashless stadium, with contactless payments available in all areas, including at food and beverage outlets and for matchday programs, museum entrance and stadium tours, supported by ‘The Blues’ partner Fiserv.
 

Rail seating

Rail seating has been installed in the Matthew Harding Lower and Shed End Upper and Lower tiers. This improvement enhances supporter safety by replacing the current seats in those sections of the stadium. ‘The Blues’ have decided to act now in order to be ready and prepared for any future Government decision to introduce safe standing in Premier League stadia.
 

Sweeping views

The biggest development to Stamford Bridge since 2001, Westview is the newly renovated West Stand Upper, which following consultations with supporters have been significantly upgraded ahead of the new season.

There has been a complete refurbishment of the concourse in the upper tier, with two new 360 degree bars and a new food court offering improved range and quality of food and drink, as well as views across London.

In the stand, the matchday experience will be enhanced by three new big screens which ensure all seat locations can view the screen content for the first time, and all seats have been replaced with brand-new padded seating. A wheelchair accessible platform has also been installed with four wheelchair and personal assistant places.
 

Paying ode

Over the summer, Chelsea F.C. has recognized the important contribution made by Paul Canoville in the club’s history and has paid ode to him by renaming the Centenary Hall, located in the Shed End, in his name.

The entrance stairwell and area in the suite will tell Paul’s history with words and images, and Chelsea’s wider diversity story will be in the rest of the suite, with a celebration of other groundbreaking players for whom Paul paved the way at the club after becoming the first Black player to be selected for the Chelsea men’s first team.

Paul Kenneth Canoville is an English former professional footballer who played as a winger. He was signed by Chelsea from Hillingdon Borough in 1981, and went on to win the Second Division title with the club in 1983-84.
 

Surround screen

With the exception of the few thousand who were able to attend games in December and at the end of last season, the start of 2021-2022 will be the first chance to view the two brighter and better big screens that were installed inside Stamford Bridge during the previous season. They have higher resolution and refresh rate than their predecessors, and are 25 per cent larger and widescreen, providing a greater viewing experience for all around the ground.

In addition, a further series of new screens have been installed in the West Stand to give viewing access to screens for all within that part of the ground.

There has also been a change at pitch level during the close season, with the first complete pitch replacement for seven years having taken place. The pitch has switched from a Desso system to a SIS one.
 

Pandemic protocols

Supporters attending ‘The Blues’ home matches this season will be required to provide evidence that they are at low risk of transmitting COVID-19. This is to increase the safety and comfort quotients of the club’s supporters, players and staff as the club begins hosting capacity crowds for the first time since March.

Fans will have to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (with both doses received at least 14 days prior to the match) or proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test (LFT – from age 11 and over) carried out within 48 hours of the fixture kicking off.

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