Fans MUST wear facemasks - and participate in entry survey.
As you will be aware, the Government’s latest Covid regulations have meant some dramatic changes for all of us - including football fans everywhere who want to attend matches.
It’s no different for everyone connected with AFC Wimbledon - from players to staff, to visitors to you, our loyal supporters. Our priority is to protect as many of you as we physically can - and do everything possible to ensure everyone can come to our home games and watch in safety.
Theoretically, the Government's new stadium rules only come into play at grounds where more than 10,000 spectators will be attending. While we don’t quite reach that mark, that is no excuse for us to not act responsibly or to introduce measures based on common sense, for the common good.
Quite simply, your well-being takes precedence and it is for this reason that we have decided to introduce some new measures ahead of Saturday's home game against Portsmouth, which is sure to be a full house.
So, what does this mean?
First and foremost, it means the wearing of face masks will be compulsory in all indoor areas, at all times. The only exception will be when you are eating and drinking - or when you are outdoors watching the game.
Secondly, and after discussion with our local health authority, we will be conducting random spot checks as part of a survey of fans who come to the Cherry Red Records Stadium on Saturday - and at future home games after that. The purpose of this is twofold - one, it will provide invaluable research material for the health authority and, two, it will get us all into a habit of following the best-possible practises.
The survey will work in the following manner:
- If approached, visitors will be asked to provide proof they have been double jabbed as a basic minimum. This must have happened no less than 14 days clear of the second jab;
- If the above isn't possible, they will be asked to show evidence of either a successful lateral flow test, PCR test or proof of recent recovery - no earlier than 48 hours prior to kick off. Alternatively, they should provide documentation showing they are exempt from these checks;
- The spot-check survey will be carried out by our stewards and volunteers, who will be wearing distinctive tabards and carrying clipboards and checklists;
- Home and away fans will be randomly selected as they queue to enter the stadium and before they go through each of the turnstile blocks into the main Cappagh (West) Stand - and also at the Ry (East), Movers (South) and Cherry Red Records (North) stands;
- Fans will NOT be refused entry if they are unable to provide any Covid certification evidence. It is a spot check survey only and our target is to cover 10 per cent of our total stand capacity - and over 50 per cent of hospitality guests;
- Nobody is exempt - including Cappagh Stand hospitality guests, directors, VIPS, and other visitors;
- Signage will be displayed around the ground, along with NHS Track and Trace QR Codes.
Inevitably, these surveys will slow down the process of entering the stadium and we urge all fans to bear this in mind by arriving much earlier than normal.
We also urge all fans to download the NHS app so their vaccination details are easily and clearly to hand. If you do not have a smartphone, your vaccination card will be acceptable.
Fans using lateral flow tests can report their result via: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result - certification of a negative test will then be sent via text or email.
The following links are helpful:
- How to get an NHS COVID Pass - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-pass/
- How to download a digital NHS COVID Pass - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/get-digital-covid-pass/
- Further information about COVID-19 - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
We would urge all fans to take a lateral flow test before attending the match. Anyone who records a positive result must NOT come to the Cherry Red Records Stadium under any circumstances. Instead, follow the correct NHS procedures. Even if you are double-vaccinated, you - or your friends - must not attend if you are feeling unwell, showing any of the Covid symptoms or are required to self-isolate.
Finally, we make no apologies for the measures outlined above. We do not want AFC Wimbledon to have failed its fans - and its wider community - by not doing everything possible to contain the spread of the Omicron variant.
Nor do we want to see a return to this time last year, when football stadiums across the country were empty and fans were ordered to stay away. If we all apply common sense and respect to one another, then we can contunue to enjoy, in safety, what is already a scintillating season at our new home.