'It'll be like the good old days': Football fans welcome new stadium lockdown rules
Sports fans have welcomed the reopening of stadiums to a limited number of fans and spectators under level 1 lockdown.
On Monday, co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma announced the amended regulations.
Under the new regulations, as part of phase one towards fully reopening sporting activities, spectators are permitted at sports events but are limited to 750 people or less at indoor venues and 2,000 at outdoor venues.
“If the venue is too small to hold the prescribed number of persons observing a distance of at least 1.5m from each other, then not more than 50% of the capacity of the venue may be used, subject to strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measures,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
The move comes after the government started rolling out its Covid-19 vaccine certificate system last week.
This will be the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March last year that sporting fans in the country will be allowed inside stadiums to watch matches live.
Only fully vaccinated fans allowed to watch Bafana Bafana game
The SA Football Association (Safa) warned that only vaccinated soccer fans will be allowed to attend the FIFA Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia on Tuesday at FNB Stadium. The kickoff time for the game is 6pm.
“Only fully vaccinated people are allowed to apply [for tickets]. A one-time password will be supplied to purchase ticket upon confirmation of vaccinations code,” Safa said in a statement.
Safa chief medical officer Thulani Ngwenya also advised that unvaccinated fans should steer clear of the qualifier.
“All the fans will be coming through Gate M and they will be sitting on the west wing. The ushers will be there to show them where they are supposed to go,” said Ngwenya.
“Please do not come to the stadium when you are not fully vaccinated, and when you have not applied, because you will not be allowed to pass through the first gate because you will need that certificate, and you will need to be verified.”
On social media, many fans welcomed the decision with some expressing that they cannot wait to watch the game live.
Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions:
I wish i could be there at FNB Stadium i miss the atmosphere of being in the game Bafana Bafana will win even more easy with fans— Musa Mavin Zikhali💙 (@ZikhaliMavin) October 11, 2021
We are going to see Mvala play for Bafana Bafana live at the Stadium. Who would have thought? Dreams do come true.🥺😭— Thups (@WasOnceShort) October 11, 2021
😩😩 hell I'm even willing go watch bafana bafana, just to see myself at the stadium— A GENTLE BROTHER (@Selwyn_X) October 11, 2021
Tickets sorted for Bafana Bafana tomorrow we are going 🕺🏾🕺🏾🕺🏾🕺🏾— Fanie Vilakazi (@Villa_Fanie) October 11, 2021
Really wish I was going to FNB stadium this evening and yes I am fully vaccinated.— Libho Geza (@LibhoGeza) October 12, 2021