Government give date for final decision on allowing St James Park full capacity crowds
On 19 May 2021, around 10,000 Newcastle United fans were inside St James Park to watch the 1-0 win over Sheffield United.
That was almost 15 months after the last time any NUFC supporters had been allowed into a home match, which was a 52,219 ‘sell-out’ that included 10,000 who had been handed free season tickets, that game on 29 February 2020 seeing a 0-0 draw with Burnley.
Now on Monday (5 July 2021), the Government have informed us of the date when they will give the final go ahead, virus conditions permitting, for full capacity matches without covid restrictions to go ahead.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, alongside chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, passed on the news at a press conference earlier on Monday.
Johnson said that Sports stadiums across England are set to be able to operate at full capacity from July 19 2021, with the final confirmation that this will be allowed, coming next Monday (12 July 2021).
The Prime Minister making it clear that only something very serious and unexpected, will prevent this confirmation being given.
Today’s briefing also confirmed that social distancing is set to end as well, plus mandatory mask wearing will be ended (though organisations / events can still insist on these measures if choosing to do so).
News as well that vaccine passports will also not now be compulsory, as was previously suggested.
So as things now stand, when Newcastle kick off the Premier League season against West Ham on Sunday 15 August, the fans inside St James Park will be able to stand, cheer and sing without breaking any rules / laws.
No specific mention was made of them but presumably, the lifting of restrictions will see away fans once again admitted to St James Park, starting with that West Ham match (in terms of competitive games).
Boris Johnson – Monday 5 July 2021:
“We’ll move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus.
“From step four we will remove all legal limits on the numbers meeting indoors and outdoors.
“We will allow all businesses to reopen, including nightclubs, we will lift the limit on named visitors to care homes and the numbers of people attending concerts, theatre, and sports events.”
Ahead of the Premier League season kicking off of course, we had already seen Doncaster announce that Newcastle fans are set to get an allocation for the friendly in 18 days time (23 July). However, it remains to be seen if any NUFC supporters will be allowed at Harrogate, with York already stating that their friendly will be home fans only – both those NUFC friendlies taking place on Sunday 18 July (Newcastle splitting their squad in two).
This is how the July, August and September 2021 schedule currently looks, which includes the announcement on Premier League live TV selections in September which was made earlier today.
The Norwich friendly on Saturday 7 August set to be the first time fans will next be inside St James Park.
Of course, whilst Mike Ashley and Steve Bruce remain at Newcastle United, it will be very interesting to see exactly how many fans are willing to give Ashley money and pay to watch Bruce’s style of football.
Newcastle United fixtures – Friendlies and then kicking off in Premier League on Sunday 15 August:
Sunday 18 July – York City away (2pm)
Sunday 18 July – Harrogate Town away(2pm)
Friday 23 July – Doncaster Rovers away (7pm)
Tuesday 27 July – Rotherham United away (7pm)
Friday 30 July – Burton Albion away (7.45pm)
Saturday 7 August – Norwich home (2pm)
Sunday 15 August 2pm – West Ham home (Sky Sports)
Saturday 21 August 3pm – Aston Villa home
Saturday 28 August 3pm – Southampton home
Saturday 11 September 3pm – Man Utd away
Friday 17 September 8pm – Leeds home (Sky Sports)
Saturday 25 September 3pm – Watford away
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