Premier League Covid spot checks: What do I need to show? When do they happen? Are they mandatory?

A number of top flight clubs are introducing new measures from this weekend onwards.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 12:41 pm
Newcastle United fans. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Manchester United have announced that they will be introducing Covid-19 spot-checks on matchdays at Old Trafford, beginning with Saturday's clash against Newcastle United.

Such checks are expected to become mandatory in the near future, but the Reds have released a statement confirming that they will be asking fans to provide the necessary documentation to prove their Covid status from this weekend onwards.

A statement read: "Fans coming to any matches at Old Trafford from 11 September should be ready to have their Covid status checked. Spot checks will commence at the Newcastle United game. The process will be done through use of the NHS COVID Pass.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Leicester City also announced earlier in the week that they will be introducing certification spot checks at entry points into the King Power Stadium ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Manchester City.

Brighton, Chelsea and Tottenham have already introduced mandatory checks for supporters attending fixtures at their stadiums.

With an increased move towards mandatory Covid checks at top flight games, we’ve gathered all the information you need to know about what exactly they entail.

What is a Covid spot check?

Spot checks are designed to limit the risk of Covid-19 being spread at events which play host to large crowds.

Back in July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that there was a plan in place to mandate certification at bigger venues, including sporting events with capacities of 20,000 or more.

In terms of what fans are required to provide as part of a spot check, supporters aged 18 and over will be asked to prove that they are double-jabbed or have had a negative lateral flow or PCR test within 48 hours of the game.

This can be done through the through NHS Covid Pass service, via the NHS App, PDF or NHS letter.

When do Covid spot checks happen?

Spot checks will take place at stadium entry points as supporters arrive at matches.

When will Covid spot checks become mandatory?

Part of the reasoning behind Manchester United’s decision to introduce spot checks this weekend is that they expect them to become mandatory anyway on October 1st.

Earlier in the week, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi confirmed that vaccine passports in nightclubs and other indoor venues in England will be required at the end of the month, with Premier League clubs seemingly taking their lead from those governmental plans.

What do Covid spot checks mean for fans?

At the moment, clubs are not expected to turn fans away if they do not have the correct certification to prove their Covid status.

If the new measures become mandatory, however, fans who are unable to confirm their status during a spot check, will likely be denied access to stadiums.