linesman at empty soccer stadium How long are games going to look like this? It’s a critical question for many clubs.

*Updated September 17, 2021*

The question of how the coronavirus is affecting the English football leagues is obviously on many people’s minds. We have some basic Q&A below, and we’re tracking the latest news.

empty wembley stadium waiting for spectators

Wembley Stadium, awaiting its next fixture like the rest of us.

Is English soccer happening during the pandemic?

Yes! The 2021-22 season started in early August. Here is the full schedule. The 21-22 Champions League (schedule) and Europa League (schedule) group stages started in mid-September.

Can supporters go to soccer games in the UK?

At the present time, most stadiums are open at full capacity. The Premier League is requiring proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test in the previous 48 hours. The Championship has drafted a suggested “Supporters’ Code of Conduct” which includes guidance about Covid-related policies. In either case, we highly recommend you check the club’s website prior to game day.

Can supporters attend soccer games in Europe?

Other European countries have been on a similar path, but capacity at stadiums 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.

Can Americans even go to Europe or the UK right now?

The European Union took a big step toward re-opening to Americans on June 17. In late August, the EU suggested imposing new restrictions due to the high number of cases in the US, but it is still up to each individual country to set their own requirements. The UK government now allows fully vaccinated Americans to avoid quarantine, but those who are not vaccinated will be required to quarantine and test upon arrival.

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.

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