Fans could return to grounds before Christmas - but Doncaster Rovers supporters shouldn't get excited

Football fans have been offered a glimmer of hope for a return of crowds to stadiums - but it is not something Doncaster Rovers supporters should be getting too excited about at this stage.

Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 1:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 1:06 pm

The BBC has reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made it ‘a personal priority’ to reopen stadiums to the public as soon as possible.

And it is understood the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is exploring the possibility of allowing crowds into grounds, possibly before Christmas.

However, doors will only be opened in areas where the Covid-19 infection rate is judged to be low enough, as part of the government’s tiered coronavirus alert system.

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Doncaster Rovers supporters

It would mean a phased return of supporters to stadiums in Tier 1 areas and possibly those in Tier 2.

Prior to the current national lockdown, Doncaster and the rest of South Yorkshire had been placed into the highest level, Tier 3.

For an area to be placed in Tier 1, the rate of infection needs to be below 100 in every 100,000 head of population. Tier 2 is activated after that measurement is breached with Tier 3 coming if efforts to reduce the rate of infection are not working.

In the week up to November 13, Doncaster saw 364 cases per 100,000 head of population, though the number of daily cases is decreasing.

Though plans may be made at government level for the opening of some grounds, it remains to be seen whether organising bodies such as the EFL will accept schemes that would allow some of their member clubs to benefit from the return of fans while others would not.

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.