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Approval for a ‘limited return of fans’ for steps 3-6 clubs in tier 3 areas

The FA has received approval for a ‘limited return of home spectators’ for non league clubs at steps 3-6 in tier 3 areas.

Clubs will be allowed up to 15% of their league’s minimum ground grading capacity (stage 1).

The Football Association said in a statement: We have today received approval from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) for a limited return of home spectators to be permitted at clubs competing in the National League System (NLS), Women’s Football Pyramid (WFP)and Buildbase FA Vase if they are situated in Tier 3 areas.

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We have worked continuously alongside the DCMS, Sports Grounds Safety Authority and leagues to gain approval and clubs competing in Steps 3-6 of the NLS, Tiers 3-6 of the WFP and Buildbase FA Vase that are situated in Tier 3 areas are now permitted to accommodate home spectators up to 15% of their ground grading capacity in line with Stage 1 of our respective guidelines for the NLS or WFP.

A limited return of home spectators up to 15% of their ground grading capacity will also be permitted in the Buildbase FA Trophy if the fixture is between two ‘non-elite’ clubs (clubs at Steps 3-4 of the NLS) in a Tier 3 area. All fixtures in the Buildbase FA Trophy that involve an ‘elite club’ (clubs at Steps 1-2 of the NLS) in a Tier 3 area must remain behind closed doors in line with the UK Government’s return to ‘elite’ sport guidance.

Prior to admitting spectators, clubs competing in Steps 3-6 of the NLS, Tiers 3-6 of the WFP, the Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase that are situated in Tier 3 areas are strongly advised to liaise with their respective Local Authority for agreement on capacity limits.

It is extremely important that spectators remain in their household or social bubble in groups of six, do not mix with any other spectator groups, or travel between Tiers to attend fixtures, as enforceable by law. If breaches of spectator limits or social distancing are reported, clubs and leagues may face returning to fixtures being held behind closed doors.

Under UK Government guidelines, bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants in Tier 3 areas must be closed, except to sell by takeaway or click-and-collect, and this remains the case for clubs competing in Steps 3-6 of the NLS, Tiers 3-6 of the WFP, the Buildbase FA Vase and Buildbase FA Trophy with clubhouses in Tier 3 areas.

Clubs competing in Steps 3-6 of the NLS, Tiers 3-6 of the WFP, the Buildbase FA Vase and Buildbase FA Trophy that are situated in Tier 1 or 2 areas remain permitted to accommodate a phased and limited return of spectators if they continue to follow the UK Governments’ latest guidance on COVID-19 and our respective guidelines for the NLS or WFP.

Regional NLS Feeder Leagues, Tier 7 of the WFP and outdoor grassroots football also remain permitted to accommodate socially-distanced spectators but must follow the UK Government’s ‘rule of six’ and guidance on restrictions in certain tiers.

Full list of Tier 3
Tees Valley Combined Authority:
Hartlepool
Middlesbrough
Stockton-on-Tees
Redcar and Cleveland
Darlington
Sunderland
South Tyneside
Gateshead
Newcastle upon Tyne
North Tyneside
County Durham
Northumberland
Greater Manchester
Lancashire
Blackpool
Blackburn with Darwen
The Humber
West Yorkshire
South Yorkshire
Birmingham and Black Country
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull
Derby and Derbyshire
Nottingham and Nottinghamshire
Leicester and Leicestershire
Lincolnshire
Slough (remainder of Berkshire is tier 2: High alert)
Kent and Medway
Bristol
South Gloucestershire
North Somerset

The Top 10 areas with worst infection rates

All rates per 100,000

Swale – 539.7
Hull – 529.3,
Thanet – 491.8
East Lindsey – 470.6
Stoke-on-Trent – 453.6
Dudley – 452.1
Boston – 438.9
Sandwell – 435.7
Hyndburn – 435.6
Kirklees – 430.7

Fans reacted with the approval for a ‘limited return of fans’ for steps 3-6 clubs in tier 3 areas…

@RhysG94: OMGGGGGG

@RussWWFC: At last common sense prevails

@lee_allinson: Great news let’s get the season back on track

@liamdrury4: I’m now happy

@FootyInDurham: Great news as fans are allowed back in to non-league. Numbers are relatively small and many leagues are suspended, not hopefully things can start to move quickly.

@ChrisMNee: A STEP 3-6 IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

@HebburnTown: Superb that we can have fans, we’d like to think our e-mail yesterday had something to do with this announcement. We’ll need to review how this will work ahead of Saturday and will publish more@news@later this evening. Great to see you all on Saturday though

@JME2596: This is really good news for Non Elite teams in tier 3 as it looks like some areas will still be stuck there until new year. But surely elite teams also have the same and/or better facilities in place to allow a certain amount of fans back aswell?

@RRWB_: Common sense in some capacity. FINALLY.

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