It seems that Leagues around the world have followed suit with the NFL’s policies on vaccinations. The National Football League has introduced a series of harsh financial and competitive sanctions in encouraging vaccination against Covid19 among players, with teams experiencing the virus outbreak among them. The English Premier League has followed this, as it has now made players and staff vaccinations compulsory ahead of the new season.
The government announced earlier that fans would require a COVID-19 pass showing their vaccination status to attend matches from October 1. The minister of vaccines, Nadhim Zahawi insisted that a negative test would soon “no longer be sufficient” proof a person was free from the virus.
Currently, the use of the NHS COVID-19 Pass, which can also be used to show negative tests, is not mandatory but is advised: “in facilities or events where people are likely to be near a large number of people from other households for a sustained time”.
That is however set to change with players and other match-day personnel also requiring proof of vaccination. Clubs are now facing a race against time to ensure their staff receives the two jabs within the stipulated eight-week window.
It is understood, the Premier League is supportive of the plan to ensure all players, staff, and fans are fully vaccinated to avoid further disruption. But the strategy leaves Premier League teams facing a huge logistical headache on the eve of the 2021-22 season, as they prepare for full stadiums for the first time since March 2020.
Having declined considerably at the start of the year, the average number of confirmed cases has risen sharply in recent weeks. A further 39,906 confirmed cases in the UK were announced on Thursday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases over the past seven days to 325,223.
All Covid -19 restrictions in England were lifted on Monday. There are now no social distancing rules, whether indoors or outdoors, although prime minister Boris Johnson has urged caution. Legal requirements to wear face coverings have ended, the very notion of “Freedom Day” is something of a surreal thought.