Everton Football Club has re-launched a campaign to promote the safe return of supporters to Goodison Park.
The ‘Game Plan’ aims to make sure fans attending the Club’s final home fixture with Wolves on Wednesday 19 May (6pm kick-off) are aware of the public health and safety recommendations and requirements in the build-up to and on matchday itself.
The reduced capacity fixture (6,500) at Goodison Park will be attended by Season Ticket and Lounge Members who entered and were successful in a ballot for the game. The successful ballot entrants will need to adhere to a range of public health and safety advice and protocols which have been put in place to protect everyone attending, working or living near Goodison Park.
Paul McNicholas, Everton's Director of Governance & Technology and the Club's designated COVID Officer, said: “The ‘Game Plan’ campaign was a great success in keeping our supporters safe in December, and ahead of Wednesday’s visit of Wolves, we want to give Evertonians clear guidance on how they should prepare for their visit to Goodison Park and what to expect when they get there.
"As in December, there will be extensive protective measures and protocols in place to ensure that everyone stays safe on the night, including asking everyone to complete a health questionnaire before they arrive, staggered arrival times, socially distant seating, and the requirement for everyone to wear a face mask.
"In addition to this I would urge everyone attending the game to take a Lateral Flow Test on the day of the game or the day before – they are easy to access, provide quick results, and will help us to keep all of our supporters, staff and players safe.
"Our supporters were first class in the way they helped us to deliver three successful fixtures in December, and we are asking them again to play their part by reading the information we send them carefully and ensuring they have taken all of the steps they need to before arriving at the stadium.”
Liverpool City Council’s Director of Public Health has strongly recommended supporters attending the game undergo a Lateral Flow Test 24 to 36 hours prior to kick-off. The recommendation has been made in order to keep fans and the community safe. Despite the infection rates currently being low, the city region is still seeing outbreaks of the Coronavirus.
Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health at Liverpool City Council, said: “The return of football fans to Goodison Park for the last home game of the season is a landmark moment in our slow return to normality from the grip of lockdown. Whilst it is a cause for celebration, the threat of coronavirus, including the new Covid-19 strain (originally detected in India) is very real within our city region.
“It is vitally important that we continue to protect each other, our loved ones, the community and the NHS. Getting tested when attending events is a key part of that. I’d like to thank Everton Football Club for their support in urging their fans to take this test through their Game Plan campaign. We will mobilise community testing centres to make the tests as accessible to as many fans as possible. We would also like to remind supporters that testing kits are available from various locations within the community and can even be sent directly to their home.
“The test takes no time at all and does not hurt. By getting a negative result, fans will be able to watch the game with the peace of mind that they are doing so safely.”
Liverpool City Council will extend the opening hours of community testing sites on Tuesday (18 May) and also deploy two mobile testing units – at the Blue Base the day before and on Goodison Road the day of the fixture. To find your local test centre click here.Home testing kits can be collected from any community testing site from today through until matchday for fans who want to test at home or alternatively can be collected from pharmacies or ordered and delivered to your home address by clicking here.
As part of 'The Game Plan' for Wednesday's match, supporters successful in the ballot will be required to accept the Supporter Code of Conduct and also complete a health questionnaire before attending the fixture at Goodison Park – both will be emailed to supporters in the coming days.
Arrival at the stadium will be staggered with fans allocated arrival times to allow for the relevant checks to take place. Supporters are reminded to ensure they bring with them a valid match ticket, photo ID (required for identification purposes during the admission process) and a facemask, which must be worn at all times.
With roadworks taking place in Liverpool City Centre and the match kicking-off at 6pm, Evertonians passing through central Liverpool are also reminded to ensure they leave plenty of time for their journey to Goodison Park. Tickets cannot be transferred to other Season Ticket Members.
All creative associated with 'The Game Plan' campaign includes the ‘We’re Fan Ready’ mark, a nationally recognised certification to reassure fans, attendees and the local community that everyone is united in the commitment to creating a safe environment for all. The voluntary mark is part of the Sports Technology and Innovation Group’s ‘For the Love of Sport’ campaign and recognises the Club’s use of protocols and guidance put in place by the Sports Ground Safety Authority and UK Government.
For more information on ‘The Game Plan’, including a full list of FAQs related to the return of fans to Goodison, click here.