Everton fans have been urged to get fully vaccinated ahead of a series of home and away fixtures in the new year.
Health chiefs at Liverpool City Council and Club officials have joined forces to ensure Goodison Park is a safe venue, following the Government’s adoption of ‘Plan B measures’.
Rising COVID rates across the UK have led to new Premier League wide club protocols being put in place. The new measures have not yet been tested at Goodison Park, following the postponement of home fixtures with Leicester City and Newcastle United, but will be enforced when the Blues entertain Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.
Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health at Liverpool City Council, said: “We strongly encourage everybody to get vaccinated and if you have already had your two doses, please go and get your booster jab.
“By getting the vaccination, fans will be able to attend games with the peace of mind that they are doing so as safely as possible.
“The safety of fellow supporters is paramount, especially as we approach 2022, so I would also ask everyone attending any game to adhere to the entry requirements, wear a face covering and take a rapid lateral flow test (LFT) regardless before heading to Goodison Park.”
To find your nearest walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site in England please click here.
The new COVID protocols importantly ask adult supporters (over-18) to self-certify their COVID status with the Club prior to visiting Goodison Park. Completion of the online self-certification forms, which have been sent to every ticket holder by email, will help the Club make the entry process on matchday smoother. Heightened and increased spot checks, alongside security checks, will still take place on matchdays with supporters required to bring either proof of vaccination status or a negative lateral flow test.
Face masks also need to be worn at all times in confined spaces within the stadium, in line with Government guidelines.
Paul McNicholas, Director of Governance and Technology at Everton, added: “This is about the Blue Family looking after one another.
“The new variant of this virus has spread at an alarming rate nationally and we, as a football community, need to look out for each other.
“It is important that everybody complies with the rules because they are there to keep everyone safe and it ensures we can all come into Goodison Park in the knowledge that everyone there has either been double vaccinated, or returned a negative test.
“We don’t want to see football moved behind closed doors or any future limits imposed on the number of spectators.
“All of the clubs in the Premier League are doing all they can to demonstrate that they are able to host safe and secure football fixtures, but it’s a double responsibility.
“It’s up to us to put on a safe and welcoming matchday, and we need our fans to support that by complying with the instructions and entry requirements that we have provided. So far this season, fans have responded well to our protocols and I’d like to thank every Evertonian and visiting supporter for their assistance."
McNicholas added: “These new measures are largely the same across all Premier League clubs and we are legally required to turn away anyone who doesn’t come with their evidence.
“It’s really important, therefore, that supporters bring their NHS Covid pass, or evidence of a negative lateral flow test.
“We have put a lot of additional resource into our COVID protocols and processes. By completing the self-certification form supporters will be helping us to minimise queues as far as we can. However it is still recommend that everyone, including our Hospitality members arrive early - perhaps 30 minutes prior to when they would usually arrive – so you can go through any possible COVID or security checks and get to your seat or lounge in plenty of time for kick-off.”
There are currently no COVID requirements for under-18s. However, all supporters in all age groups are strongly encouraged to take a lateral flow test on the day of the game, for the additional safety of fellow fans and Club staff.
What if I have no email to receive the self-certification form?
This may be because your email address is not registered with the Club. Any home supporter who has not registered an email with Everton should contact the Fan Centre on 0151 556 1878, or if you are a Hospitality member, the Hospitality team on 0151 808 1500 / Hospitality@evertonfc.com
How do I present evidence of exemption?
Anyone who is exempt from vaccinations needs to now register through the NHS. This can be done via the NHS website, calling 119 or by arrangement with your GP. More details are available by visiting the Government website
I am not vaccinated, what if I can’t get a lateral flow test?
Information on lateral flow test and collection sites in Liverpool, including opening times, is available by clicking here. If you cannot verify your Covid status by use of a lateral flow test, and are not vaccinated, it is a legal requirement that you will not be permitted entry to the stadium and should not travel to Goodison Park.
What is the procedure for visiting supporters?
The onus is on the away clubs to inform their own supporters of the protocols at Goodison Park. Everton will be in contact with the relevant departments of all visiting clubs to provide their staff and supporters with the relevant information and entry requirements. All visiting supporters will be asked and checked for their COVID status upon entry to the away section at Goodison Park.
What if I am buying/selling my ticket through the Club’s re-sale platform?
Self-certification will be required prior to entering the stadium in the same way it does for match ticket purchasers. If you have not received an email for self-certification you should contact the Fan Centre on 0151 556 1878.
What if someone else is using my Season Ticket?
It is the Season Ticket Member’s responsibility to ensure that anyone attending the game on their Season Ticket is compliant with the entry requirements. There will be spot checks taking place at Goodison Park and all attendees could be required to prove they have been vaccinated OR evidence a negative lateral flow test taken within the last 48 hours. Failure to produce evidence of either could result in supporters not being able to access the stadium.
Will I receive a refund for my match tickets if I do not meet the entry requirements?
Refunds will not be issued on the basis of fans not meeting the entry safety requirements.
If I have not been allowed entry to Goodison Park, how do I prove my Covid vaccination status at a later stage to be allowed entry in the future?
Supporters who have been refused entry must email email@example.com, or visit Goodison Park, to provide proof of their vaccine status, or provide a negative test result within 48 hours of kick-off for the next fixture.
What procedure will Hospitality guests and hosts need to follow?
Every guest attending a fixture will need to be prepared to show their COVID Pass or negative test result. However, you may allow a lead booker to complete the pre-registration ahead of matchday if you are in contact with them.
Do the measures apply to under-18s?
No. Only over-18s need to follow the above guidelines. However, we strongly encourage supporters in all age groups to take a test on the day of the game, for the additional safety of fellow fans.
What do vaccinated overseas supporters have to provide as proof? Are their vaccine records accepted?
Any international proof of vaccination recognised by the NHS, as equivalent to the NHS COVID Pass, will be accepted. More details are available by clicking here. A negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of kick-off will also be accepted.