Trial with 1500 supporters in football stadiums

The cabinet has given permission for a trial in which a maximum of 1500 supporters are allowed to enter a football stadium. The visitors, who are tested for the corona virus in advance, are divided over various ‘bubbles’. In each bubble, a certain measure is tested to prevent the spread of the corona virus, such as the use of masks and whether or not to cheer.

It is not yet clear when the trial can start. This is only possible once the risk level is ‘vigilant’, the lowest category. In most regions the risk level is now ‘very serious’, in some it is ‘serious’.

Many professional football clubs have already expressed interest in participating in the trial. NEC and Almere City FC are candidates, but Ajax and PSV have also registered. The test with the return of the public at football matches is part of ‘Back to Live’, a project of the events industry to which the KNVB and sports umbrella NOC * NSF are also affiliated.

“At the moment there are several options for the location,” says program manager Pieter Lubberts of Fieldlab Events, who set up ‘Back to Live’. “The main question is in which region the contamination level will fall the fastest. We are preparing the practical test. Where and when it will take place, remains to be seen.”

The 1,500 football fans who are then allowed to enter the stadium will receive a list of questions about their health before and after the game. Everyone is tested for the corona virus beforehand. This may also be done with a quick test at the gate of the stadium. “In this way we generate extra data”, says Lubberts.

Several ‘bubbles’ are created to test various things. The visitors sitting in the same bubble use the same entrance, the same toilets and catering points and sit in the same grandstand spaces. “In this way, we combat the risk of contamination in a very controlled manner. And if it happens, you can quickly identify which group it is”, says Lubberts. “How do people keep to the rules? How many contact moments are there and how long do they last? We will all investigate that.”


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