Negative tests and text-message tracking – what the return of fans looks like

The World Snooker Championship final will become the first UK sporting event to host a full capacity crowd since the coronavirus crisis began.

World Snooker Tour confirmed the climax of the tournament at the Crucible Theatre on May 2-3 would operate without any capacity restrictions as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme.

But spectators will be forced to wear face coverings while seated in the near 1,000-capacity arena to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

The announcement also confirmed arrangements for attendance to be scaled up from 33 per cent in round one, to 50 per cent in round two and then 75 per cent in the quarter and semi-finals.

Children have been banned from attending, as have clinically extremely vulnerable adults, pregnant women, and anyone living with somebody who falls into the latter two categories.

All attendees must undertake a free Covid-19 test prior to being admitted to the Crucible – either on the day itself or the day before – and another five days after attendance.

The first test will be followed by a text message confirming the result, which must be negative and then shown on arrival to gain admittance, after which a QR Code must be scanned to ‘check in’ using the NHS Track and Trace app.

World Snooker Tour said: “The test can be booked in your local vicinity and we strongly advise to get your test before you travel to Sheffield.

“We will look to make available additional testing facilities in Sheffield City Centre to meet demand and conversations are ongoing in relation to these facilities and we will provide further information as soon as it becomes available.

“For the post-event test, you will be provided with a home testing kit. You will then follow the instructions provided and return the kit by post.”

The evidence from the World Snooker Championship and other pilot events, including the FA Cup semi-finals and final and the Carabao Cup final, will be used to inform the Government’s decision about lifting Covid-19 restrictions.

How the World Snooker Championship pilot programme will work

Round 1 – Saturday April 17 to Wednesday April 21

The venue will operate at 33 per cent spectator capacity. This will be managed under social distancing guidelines similar to those in place at the end of the 2020 Betfred World Championship and there will be 1 metre+ distancing observed between different ticket groups/bookings. Social distancing will be observed throughout the building and external queuing areas and face coverings will need to be worn throughout the time inside the building, including when seated.

Round 2 – Thursday April 22 to Monday April 26

The venue will operate at 50 per cent capacity. Bookings will be grouped in parties of 1 or 2 and the available seats will be spread around the venue to avoid different parties sitting next to one another. Social distancing will not be expected under this capacity although some mitigation procedures will be required to reduce the risk of transmission including wearing face coverings in the venue.

Quarter-final and semi-finals – Tuesday April 27 to Saturday May 1

The venue will operate at 75 per cent capacity. It will not be possible to avoid different parties sitting alongside one another. Social distancing will not be expected under this capacity although some mitigation procedures will be required to reduce the risk of transmission including wearing face coverings in the venue.

Final – Sunday May 2 to Monday May 3

The venue will operate without any capacity restriction. It will not be possible to avoid different parties sitting alongside one another. Social distancing will not be expected under this capacity although some mitigation procedures will be required to reduce the risk of transmission including wearing face coverings in the venue.

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