CARLISLE, England (LifeSiteNews) – An English soccer club has announced it will reduce its stadium capacity to 9,999, so that fans will not need to show COVID passports upon entry.
Carlisle United published the announcement on their official website yesterday, confirming that “there will be no requirement to show vaccination status” to enter their Brunton Park stadium in Carlisle, England.
The announcement comes after the U.K. Parliament approved the use of COVID passport for large venues yesterday, and as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the country will move to “plan B” winter restrictions. These include increased mask mandates and vaccine passports for night clubs and other venues.
Under “plan B,” venues with a capacity of 10,000 people or more must require either a proof of vaccination against COVID-19, often referred to as “COVID passport,” or a negative lateral flow test no older than 48 hours to be shown upon entry.
Brunton Park’s revised capacity of 9,999 falls below the threshold of 10,000, meaning that the stadium no longer has to enforce the COVID passport requirement.
The stadium could previously host up to 17,949 fans although, according to The Daily Mail, attendance at the stadium has not been higher than 8,000 so far this season.
In addition, the club announced that “supporters will not be required to wear a face covering when located in their seat, or on the terrace [i.e., standing area], in the stadium bowl.”
Instead, mandatory face covering at the stadium will apply only indoors, and even then, there is an exception when eating or drinking. Children under 11 will also be exempt.
Some fans praised the move on Twitter.
Former English footballer [i.e., professional soccer player] Matt Le Tissier posted an announcement on Twitter saying that Carlisle United was his “new second team” because of the decision.
🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 my new 2nd team 😊 https://t.co/OSFqRhUoli
— Matt Le Tissier🌸 (@mattletiss7) December 15, 2021
Similarly, the former Brexit Party chairman, current leader of Reform UK, Richard Tice expressed his support for the club and called himself “a new fan.”
BRILLIANT: We should all give our support to Carlisle United for their bold creative thinking. I’m a new fan. https://t.co/ZSc103ZZqJ
— Richard Tice (@TiceRichard) December 14, 2021
Some soccer fans, however, saw Carlisle United’s decision as nothing more than a marketing move and implied that the decision was made on account of the stadium’s low attendance rate rather than in opposition to the vaccine passport.
Have you seen the average attendance @mattletiss7 ? Clearly not as you’d realise this is nothing more than a marketing ploy 😂
— Chris John (@Chris_Dyer84) December 15, 2021
It’s not because we are anti vaccine. It’s because we can’t organise stuff and we get less than 4000 at home at the minute.
I thought you did your research? https://t.co/XW1eWVkdQ3
— Ross Parkinson (@parkinsonross) December 15, 2021