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Silverstone backs 'vaccine passport' to allow capacity crowd at British Grand Prix

Silverstone backs 'vaccine passport' to allow capacity crowd at British Grand Prix

F1 News

Silverstone backs 'vaccine passport' to allow capacity crowd at British Grand Prix

Silverstone backs 'vaccine passport' to allow capacity crowd at British Grand Prix

Silverstone has joined a number of high profile sporting bodies imploring the UK government to introduce a Covid certification review to allow for the full return of spectators to sporting venues.

Alongside organisations including the Premier League, the Lawn Tennis Association and the Rugby Football Union, Silverstone has signed a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson and the leaders of the other major UK political parties supporting the new proposals.

From May 17, spectators will be permitted to return to stadia but with venues capped at 25 per cent capacity which the governing bodies and sporting organisations claim "will still be insufficient to end sport’s Covid financial crisis."

The letter reads: "Looking ahead to June 21, we support the Government’s ambition to secure the full return of fans, without restrictions if possible. Of necessity, this will depend upon the Government agreeing that it is safe to lessen or drop social distancing requirements.

"How this can be achieved is being examined by the Events Research Programme (ERP) which is looking at a range of options, including the extent to which social distancing can be relaxed. This work is supported by all of the major sporting bodies.

"All of our sports are committed to working closely with the ERP to explore all of the options that will allow us to swiftly return to full capacities. We also understand that further guidance will be issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Sports Grounds Safety Authority."

The UK is set for a busy summer of sport, with Wimbledon scheduled to begin on June 28, the British GP between July 16-18 and UEFA's Euro finals commencing on June 11, with group games as well as the semi-final and final due to take place at London's Wembley Stadium.

Last year, F1 raced twice at Silverstone, with both events taking place behind closed doors but in 2019, a capacity crowd of 351,000 across the weekend was recorded. "It is important that we have certainty as soon as possible on the form this guidance will take so we can plan efficiently and effectively with many big sporting events scheduled for late June and onwards," continued the letter. "The return of fans will give a huge boost to millions who enjoy a day out at a sporting event with their friends and families and be of great benefit to the economy. It is right that every possible action is considered to secure this outcome as soon as possible, but only for as long as an unrestricted return is considered unsafe to fans, matchday staff and the wider public. "This includes investigating how a Covid certification arrangement could reduce and then safely remove the requirement for social distancing. "There are many issues to be addressed including how the technology would work and its ease of use at major events, for both the attendees and the organisers." "All of our sports can see the benefit that a Covid certification process offers in getting more fans safely back to their sport as quickly as possible. We know that our stadia can only be fully filled with an assurance process. "This process must ensure that everyone can access stadia and must include arrangements that would verify a negative Covid test or an antibody test alongside vaccination certification."

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