Sheffield United fans "some time away" from access to rapid turnaround tests which could allow them back into Bramall Lane

The boss of the firm which tests Premier League footballers for Covid-19 believes we are still "some way off" a situation where fans, including those of Sheffield United, can get a rapid coronavirus test enabling them to attend live games again.
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Blades fans have not seen their side play in person since March, when football was shut down in a bid to halt the spread of Covid-19.

Biotechnology company Prenetics have developed technology for rapid tests, which deliver results within 30 minutes.

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But chief executive Avi Lasarow believes that rolling out that test for football supporters - one possible avenue to allowing them back into grounds - is still "some time away".

"It's very difficult to speculate," Lasarow told Sky Sports News.

"I think, realistically, from where we are sitting, that's still some time away. There are multiple scenarios.

"We think it's probably realistic to build testing stations at core venues, which could be NCP car parks for example, that have land assets available.

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"We have started using LAMP technology, from Oxford, and the testing cycle takes approximately 15-30 minutes.

Sheffield United have played at empty grounds since March (Photo by Tim Keeton - Pool/Getty Images)Sheffield United have played at empty grounds since March (Photo by Tim Keeton - Pool/Getty Images)
Sheffield United have played at empty grounds since March (Photo by Tim Keeton - Pool/Getty Images)

"The capability exists. I can't comment on stadiums in particular but what I can say is that it's highly likely testing generally will be done outside of the environment of the venue, likely at pharmacies, independent pop-ups, around the country".

There was hope at one stage that fans would be allowed back in grounds in October, but a rise in cases scuppered that plan before the prime minister's announcement of a second lockdown at the weekend.