How Sheffield United fans will be affected by Boris Johnson's Plan B to deal with Omicron Covid-19 variant
Supporters of Sheffield United will be forced to adopt the use of so-called vaccine passports to get into games from next week, after prime minister Boris Johnson announced his ‘Plan B’ in a bid to control the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
Johnson announced a new set of coronavirus measures on Wednesday evening, warning that the Omicron variant is spreading much faster than existing ones and describing the new approach as “‘proportionate and responsible”.
People will have to show the NHS’ health certificate to gain entry to unseated indoor venues with more than 500 attendees, and outdoor events with more than 4,000 people.
The new directives will affect Blades fans for the first time at their away game at Fulham on December 20, with the rules not coming into force until December 15 – two days after their home game against Queens Park Rangers.
Supporters will be able to use the Covid passport as proof they have been double vaccinated, and can also currently input a negative lateral flow test result to gain entry – although Johnson warned that approach may change as the UK’s booster roll-out continues.
Certain exemptions apply to the vaccine passport plan, including people who are unable to receive the vaccine for medical reason or those under 17 years of age.
The government are thought to see the introduction of passports as an alternative to mandating that games must be played behind closed doors, as happened during the first coronavirus lockdown last year.
United fans have been allowed into grounds in England without any restrictions since the start of the current season, although Blades supporters needed a Covid-19 passport to gain entry into Cardiff City’s stadium at the weekend because of Welsh law.
“It’s become increasingly clear that Omicron is growing much faster than the previous Delta variant and it’s spreading rapidly all around the world,” Johnson said at a hastily-arranged press conference at Downing Street o n Wednesday evening.
"A total of 568 cases have been confirmed through genomic sequencing across every region of the UK, and the true number is certain to be much higher.”