The English Rugby Football Union is hoping to have 20,000 fans at Twickenham Stadium for the Quilter Cup match between England and the Barbarians on 25 October.
The number of fans allowed into Twickenham Stadium for the fixture is based on social distancing requirements to mitigate against the risk of Covid-19 transmission.
Subject to obtaining the relevant licence and approvals including those from public health authorities, spectator numbers will be up to 20,000; less than 25% of the stadium’s total 82,000 capacity.
Attendees can only buy tickets seated together for people in a single household, including their support bubble; this includes any transferred tickets.
Tickets will initially be available to those with an existing booking from the postponed fixture, followed by a priority booking window for First XV members on 7 September.
RFU CEO Bill Sweeney said:
We continue to work closely with government and the local authority on the return of sports fans to the stadium. The numbers of fans able to attend, given social distancing requirements, will be significantly lower than normal and subject to final agreement from government.
Local resident and spectator safety is our top priority and numerous measures are being implemented for the events that either adhere to or exceed the guidance provided by the government and the Sports Ground Safety Authority. A test event will be held to put into practice our operational plans and demonstrate that Twickenham Stadium is well prepared.
England head coach Eddie Jones said:
This game will be an important start to the autumn for us. We are excited to represent England. We will train and prepare well and are looking forward to being back at Twickenham Stadium.
Barbarian F.C. President John Spencer added:
We are working closely with the RFU to ensure England v Barbarians will be an exciting match in a safe environment.
The safety of players, staff and supporters is paramount. The RFU are working hard to put the necessary protocols in place and we look forward to returning to Twickenham.
Numerous safety measures will be put in place, including:
- Above normal staffing levels for the crowd size in order to manage social distancing and safety measures;
- Mandatory use of face coverings by spectators except when in assigned seats or eating or drinking;
- All tickets for the match will be digital and, with the exception of accompanied children and those with accessibility requirements attending with a companion, each mobile ticket will need to be on a separate device;
- One way systems to manage crowd movement;
- Assigned entry gates to minimise the build-up of queues;
- Extensive queue lanes outside the stadium, on Rugby Road and Whitton Road to manage socially distanced queues;
- Hand sanitisers will be provided throughout the stadium;
- External toilet provision will be the same as an 82,000 capacity match, despite the reduced spectator numbers; and
- The cleaning and waste collection regime will be significantly increased.
The Metropolitan Police is supportive of the plans in place to manage the return of fans to the stadium.
Fans can expect a different experience given the safety measures being implemented at the stadium and spectators will need to read and agree to follow a Spectator Code of Conduct to help mitigate the risks of Covid-19 transmission.