Johnson introduced his ‘Plan B’ measures in mid-December in a bid to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, with supporters legally required to show either proof of double vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test before gaining entry to venues with more than 10,000 capacity.
As it happened, United’s two planned home games at Bramall Lane after those measures were introduced were postponed, and this Saturday’s clash with Luton Town will be the first time many Blades will have had to show the certification to get entry through the turnstiles.
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But the experience may be short-lived after Johnson signalled today that the procedure will no longer be a legal requirement. Clubs can still insist on it as a condition of entry, but United are expected to follow most other clubs and not require proof to be shown.
Facemasks will also no longer be mandatory in indoor areas, but United may continue to encourage their use to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Downing Street later said the Government's scientific advisers had "no objection to the approach taken" in ditching England's Plan B. Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons more than 90 per cent of over-60s across the UK have now had booster vaccines to protect them, and scientists believed the Omicron wave has peaked.
People will no longer be told to work from home and, from Thursday next week when Plan B measures lapse, mandatory Covid passes will end, Johnson said. The legal requirement for people with coronavirus to self-isolate will also be allowed to lapse when the regulations expire on March 24, and that date could be brought forward.
Blades fans will still need to show either their NHS Covid-19 pass or bring proof of a negative lateral flow test to gain entry to Bramall Lane this weekend for the Luton game. United have issued guidance on the certification process on their website here.