Vaccine passports to be introduced for attendance at football matches

by Tony Attwood

Stamford Bridge Clear Skies.JPGThat headline comes from the story in the Guardian, following a decision by Chelsea to introduce a control system from this weekend so that only those who are vaccinated twice or have a recent test are allowed into the ground.  It is reported that the government is planning to make the scheme mandatory.

What is missing however is any description of the practicalities of how this is going to happen.

If you’ve been to Arsenal you’ll know that entry is normally through the use of one’s membership card – with no person at the gate checking any sort of ticket in the traditional sense.

That in turn suggests that somehow the fact that one has been vaccinated will have to be electronically merged into the membership card – for anything other than that means that there will have to be human checking of tickets as one goes in.   Put that in place and then even greater queues and delays than we already see near kick off will occur.

As it happens, I’ve experienced this checking process already since one of my other passions alongside watching football matches is also facing this issue of entry into events.  As I have mentioned on occasion, I enjoy dancing (modern jive if you are interested in the detail) and the dance clubs have been very varied in their approach to regulating who can attend.

Many clubs have no restrictions at all, while some require a certificate of double vaccination or a recent test.   And as is obvious, where the person on the door has to check a certificate as well as take the money or swipe a card, it takes two or three times as long to gain entry.

I know that Arsenal are seeking to make the red, silver and gold cards more than just entry cards, so that they will allow fans to use them as debit cards to buy food and drink in the stadium, but I do have a worry about this.  Especially if any aspect of my medical records goes on that card as well, because once one has got that far, we surely have to have a pin number on the card for protection.   And that is going to make it take four or five times as long to get into the ground.

It really will be interesting to see how Chelsea cope with this, this weekend.  Although the trouble is football journalists normally go straight into the media entrance and don’t actually see what happens to us normal people.

Meanwhile ahead of Sunday’s game it appears that only the lower tier is going to be open.  Or at least that is the implication from many supporters who report that they have been moved from the upper tier to the lower tier.

That is in contradiction of the notion being circulated in some quarters to the effect that the ground will be nearly full.  We shall of course see on Sunday.

Meanwhile on the transfer front we seem to have entered Phase 2, which we always see in the summer window.  After virtually every possible player who might be transferred has been tipped to be on Arsenal’s wanted list, we are now told that players who Arsenal wanted are not coming because Arsenal’s offer was far too low.  Or too late.

It’s obvious that with well over 100 players tipped to be coming to Arsenal the vast majority of stories are fake, but the “too slow” and “too late” story will at least keep the tales going for another month.

However the tangled web of tipped players not actually arriving is never the fault of those who report the stories of course.  So we get headlines like “Carnevali claims ‘right offer’ needed for Locatelli, weeks after claiming Arsenal were ‘pushing hard‘ to sign ace” which, even after I’d read it, leaves me uncertain what it is suggested that is going on.

Ruben Neves, whose name has been on the lists since before the window opened is popping up again and Bruno Guimaraes‘ name is one of the current favourites for a mention (although that probably has nothing to do with a transfer).

And it appears that Harry Clarke will undergo a Ross County medical tomorrow, “Football Insidercan exclusively reveal.”  Described as “Arsenal ace Clarke” it is a loan deal.  Or so we are told.  Anyway it is not an exclusive any more since I’ve mentioned it. 

If you are interested there is a full list of all the players who have been tipped to come to Arsenal this summer across these two articles…

I wouldn’t bank on too many of them being true however.

Finally, we’ve gathered together the main stories we’ve run this summer which look at how Arsenal’s change in tactics last winter transformed the club.  There are links from the home page.


9 Replies to “Vaccine passports to be introduced for attendance at football matches”

  1. If the cards include:

    1 – medical records
    2 – payment facilities (Visa debit card?)

    What will happen in the instances of people lending another their card if they can’t go – i.e. I assume that will be completely banned (and not in the interest of the person paying the bill anyway).

  2. richardr, I don’t know the final details but I think that is the plan – to reduce the amount of passing the card around. I have the feeling that the idea is one might have to put money into the card and then it can be used in the ground, and each time it is used it earns points.

  3. Arsenal have said that for Sunday they will ask for proof of vaccination such as via NHS app or proof of negative lateral flow test. Implies they will be checking everyone before entry.

    However for Sunday membership cards aren’t being used.

  4. The day society starts discriminating people over their medical status is the day we enter a completely totalitarian system. How quickly have the people accepted on giving up their freedom is beyond me. I now are starting to understand some events some 100 years ago and how easy it is for politicians to make the people do what they want them to do. Welcome to 1984 or the Chinese communist party society where you are surveyed day and night in order to get credits so you can think you are free…..


  6. £42 million (reported as the price) for Odegarde is a good deal. Thats what Madrid want for him and he wants to play for Arsenal. He fitted in well and became part of the Arsenal family.

    I hope the boss wants him enough.

    Meanwhile, welcome Ben White. I look forward to seeing you play with our fabulous stars. Be careful of the officials you have got used to, they don’t treat you the same when you’re in an Arsenal shirt.

  7. Sorry Walter it’s not often we differ but I cant agree. There are lots of mandatory vaccinations around the World and have been for years, and in some of the most open and tolerant countries in the World.

    For example there are many diseases you need a vaccine certificate to travel to:

    “The meningitis, polio and yellow fever certificates are some of the most commonly used. Countries can deny you entry without a vaccination certificate, so find out which countries require them”.

    “Some of the countries that may require you to show a yellow fever certificate include Australia, India, Egypt, China, the Bahamas and the Philippines.”

    “The polio vaccination certificate is only valid for one year if you are travelling to Pakistan and Nigeria, amongst others, and are staying there for more than 28 days. This means that you must get a new certificate regularly if you visit these countries often.”

    That all from:

    And even to go to school:

    “Vaccination policies in countries around the world are so varied and fractured they almost seem Canadian. While some countries focus on educating their populace about the benefits of vaccination while leaving the choice to individuals, others offer financial incentives or have made vaccinations mandatory to ensure high coverage rates.

    Enforcement is another issue. Several countries with mandatory vaccination policies opt not to enforce them. And most everyone appears to agree that vaccination programs must allow for medical exemptions.

    As with three Canadian provinces, every state in the United States requires children to be vaccinated before attending school, says Dr. Lance Rodewald, director of immunization services for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

    That from:

    I’ve also read 1984 and to suggest mandatory vaccinations is remotely Orwellian is I’m afraid a gross exaggeration.

  8. I wasn’t meaning to say that Arsenal had – only that Chelsea were doing it, and there was a view that the PL might follow by the start of the season.

  9. Can I just add, I don’t have a problem with people who don’t want to be vaccinated, that is their choice. My issue is that the idea of vaccinating people, either voluntarily or compulsory is something new. It’s not, it’s been happening for years.

    My life has been saved by medication. My Mums life was extended by many years (High blood pressure), my uncles similarly (Kidney disease), as has many many millions of others, by medical intervention. I would be dead if it wasn’t for medication.

    I also pay a reasonable amount of tax. Why would the government want to stop that revenue stream ?

    Therefore I have great faith in what the medical profession tell me is good for me. Why would they, after all that, now be advising me to kill myself ?

    Honestly, if you really don’t feel safe taking the jab fine, but then don’t take any medication and see how much fun life is, and more to the point, how long you last without it.

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