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Silverstone supports COVID passports for Grand Prix 

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone could see the return of fans. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images.
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone could see the return of fans. Photo: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images.

To allow fans to return to view races in a larger capacity, the Silverstone circuit in England has decided to back the use of ‘coronavirus passports’ for its spectators. After hosting two races without spectators, the circuit authorities confirmed that it will allow fans to return to view the races live if they have valid vaccine certification.

The statement stems from the UK government’s decision to allow sporting events to allow limited spectatorship amidst the financial crisis that various sports face in the pandemic circumstances. The Silverstone circuit authorities said:

“This week’s announcement by the Prime Minister that the Government’s roadmap for easing the lockdown restrictions remains on course is very welcome news. Sporting events can continue to plan for the return of small numbers of spectators from 17 May.”

The Silverstone statement explained that they have a special Events Research Program (ERP) body in place to explore “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.”

Their statement further added:

“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.”

According to the Silverstone authorities their current focus ‘includes investigating how a COVID certification arrangement could reduce and then safely remove the requirement for social distancing’, and would address issues related to ‘how the technology would work and its ease of use at major events, for both the attendees and the organizers’.

Fan atmosphere at the Silverstone circuit. Photo: Charles Coates/Getty Images.
Fan atmosphere at the Silverstone circuit. Photo: Charles Coates/Getty Images.

Silverstone will allow its fans to races with a COVID passport and negative test certification

To ensure fans can return to their sporting event in a safer atmosphere, the Silverstone circuit will allow spectators to produce a COVID vaccine passport, a negative coronavirus test and an antibody test certification. Their statement said:

“This includes investigating how a COVID certification arrangement could reduce and then safely remove the requirement for social distancing.”

On how they would successfully implement such a measure, the letter read:

“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.”

They further reiterated that “the certification should not be a requirement for any form of participation in grassroots sport around the country.”

The British circuit joins UK’s leading sports in implementing the COVID passport system, which has been widely criticized globally as being discriminatory. However, they stated that “the final approach must not be discriminatory, should protect privacy, and have clear exit criteria.”

The Silverstone authorities ensure:

"Based on these principles, we support the review of the use of COVID certification for major events. Any final decision on their application should follow an assessment of the evidence gathered in the forthcoming ERP trials.”

Along with the co-operation of the government, the statement was signed by the Silverstone circuit along with other British sporting bodies namely the AELTC Wimbledon, English Football League (EFL), England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Football Association (The FA), Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Premier League (PL), Rugby Football League (RFL), Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Scottish Professional Football League

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Edited by Utathya Ghosh
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