Could Ipswich Town fans be allowed back inside Portman Road before Christmas?

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

Ipswich Town fans have had to send cardboard cut-outs of themselves to attend games at Portman Road this season. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Football fans could be allowed back inside stadiums before Christmas, according to a report by the Daily Mail.

It’s been said that officials at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have submitted proposals to the Cabinet Office for spectators to attend Premier League and EFL games in areas where coronavirus infection rates are low, once the second national lockdown is lifted.

Fans in Tier One and Two areas would be allowed into grounds, subject to certain conditions. Suffolk was a Tier One area ‘on the cusp’ of becoming Tier Two prior to the second lockdown coming into force. Ministers are considering a new four-tier system when the current lockdown ends on December 2.

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The report adds that “the Government is yet to agree the proposals, but football sources are hugely encouraged that DCMS is prepared to put the national game on a par with other activities, following months of criticism that the arts has been allowed to admit an audience, while football has not”.

Prior to the current lockdown, in a bizarre situation, football clubs were allowed to welcome supporters to their stadiums to watch games indoors on the TV but not allow them to watch the action in the open air from their seats. That was something that Ipswich were exploring doing.

The Blues were all set to host a crowd pilot event at Portman Road for the visit of Rochdale in September, but that was scuppered late in the day when the Government announced stricter Covid-19 measures.

Ipswich have December home games scheduled against Portsmouth (Saturday, 12th), Burton (Tuesday, 15th) and Northampton (Boxing Day), with January home games against Swindon (Saturday, 9th), Peterborough (Saturday, 23), Sunderland (Tuesday, 26th).

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