The Coronavirus and English Soccer: Frequently Asked Questions
*Updated March 13, 2022, to include some other countries*
The question of how the coronavirus is affecting the British and European football leagues is obviously on many people’s minds. We have some basic Q&A below, and we’re tracking the latest news.
Is soccer happening during the pandemic?
Can supporters go to soccer games in the UK?
Yes, stadiums are open at full capacity with no Covid-related requirements at the turnstile. The Premier League is maintaining a Covid FAQ page here. Still, if you’re going to a game, we highly recommend you check the club’s website prior to game day, just to be safe.
Can supporters attend soccer games in Europe?
In Europe, capacity at stadiums, as well as protocols, varies a bit by country, so again we recommend you check the club’s website as well as the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory page for country-specific information.
Here, though, is our latest understanding in several most-commonly visited footballing countries:
- Wales: No restrictions, full capacity
- Scotland: No restrictions, full capacity
- France: Restrictions lifted as of March 14
- Germany: Restrictions lifted by March 20
- Italy: Currently at 75% capacity, expected to be 100% by the end of March
- Spain: 100% capacity but with mask requirements and limits on eating and drinking
Can Americans travel to Europe or the UK right now?
Yes, if you are vaccinated and fill out a form online, you can go to England without any other restrictions. If you are not vaccinated, you will need to take a test.
Here is much more on current travel restrictions from Groundhopper Guides, including links for non-Americans. And here is the US State Department advisory page for the UK.
Are soccer clubs going to fold because of Covid?
Yes, and some already have, since most lower-league clubs depend massively on ticket sales for revenue. Here’s more on that. This is like a tsunami hitting the world of soccer, and some things can’t survive. Many clubs had to lay people off, and some asked players to take a pay cut.
Here is a good video on the economic impact on English clubs, from back in March 2020.