Football, but not as we know it: What to expect when you return to Portman Road

Mark Heath in facemask

Mark Heath took a tour of Portman Road to give Ipswich Town fans a look at what to expect when they return for the Portsmouth match this Saturday - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town fans will return to Portman Road for the first time since March 7 this Saturday, as 2,000 supporters will be allowed in to watch the clash with promotion rivals Portsmouth.

But it will be far from a normal matchday experience for the lucky fans who secured tickets in the ballot, with a raft of Covid-19 rules and regulations in effect at the ground.

Here's what to expect if you're going to the game...

Time of arrival and temperature test

If you've got tickets, you will have been given a time of arrival and instructions as to where to enter the ground - you must follow these.


You may also want to watch:


You will have your temperature tested before entering the turnstile, where you'll need a photo ID to gain access to the ground.

Once inside, you must wear a facemask at all times - you'll need to bring your ownand head straight for your seat.

Most Read

Once you're seated

You must remain in your seat at all times, unless you have an exemption, or need to use the toilet. There will be a gap of at least two seats between bubbles of fans.

Even when seated, you'll have to keep your facemask on - you can sing, chat, shout and do anything else you would normally do at a game, but your face must be covered. The only exception is if you're eating/drinking - which brings us to....

Ipswich Town fans have had to send cardboard cut-outs of themselves to attend games at Portman Road

Cardboard cut-outs of fans will be replaced by the real thing at Portman Road this weekend - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Food and drink

There will be no food or drink available inside the ground. You can bring your own, within reason - plastic bottles of drink up to 500ml, lunchboxes with sandwiches in, that sort of thing. You must bring it in a clear plastic bag.

However, you're not allowed to bring alcohol into the ground.

Don't touch the balls

If a ball comes near you during the game, resist the temptation to pick it up and throw it back.

The club will have staff on hand all around the pitch to sanitise balls before they are returned to play.

Fans at Portman Road ranked low for both banning orders and arrests Picture: MARK HEATH

Portman Road hasn't hosted any Town fans since March 7 - Credit: Archant

At full-time

You will be asked to remain in your seats after the full-time whistle. If you want to leave early, you must do so by the 85th minute at the latest.

Stewards will then advise you on how and when to exit the stadium, on a row by row basis, to avoid everyone leaving and mixing together.

Feeling unwell?

If you have any of the symptoms for Covid-19, you should not attend the match.

If you're considered to be extremely vulnerable, clinically, you're advised not to enter the stadium.






Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter