Covid changes to keep fans out of Carrow Road again
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City fans will no longer be allowed to attend the upcoming games at Carrow Road after the government announced that Norfolk would be moving into tier four of the national coronavirus restrictions.
The Canaries were one of the few clubs in the country who have been able to welcome back spectators in recent weeks, while Norfolk was in tier two.
That saw 2,000 fans allowed in the South Stand - under social distancing precautions and health guidelines - for the home wins over Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and Cardiff City.
However, rising Covid-19 rates and a new more contagious strain of the virus will see Norfolk join London and most of the south-east in tier four from Boxing Day onwards.
City's away game at Blackburn recently was behind closed doors and their match at Watford on Boxing Day was already due to be behind closed doors as well, with Vicarage Road being in a tier four area.
However, the Carrow Road games which follow against Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday, December 29 (7.45pm) and Barnsley on Saturday, January 2 (3pm) are set to be without fans as well now - leaving City supporters to watch via the club's online iFollow stream.
It seems highly unlikely that the situation will have changed before the FA Cup third-round tie against Coventry on Saturday, January 9, with that midday kick-off being broadcast live by BT Sport.
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The Canaries issued a statement, saying: "Following today’s announcement from the government, Norwich City’s upcoming fixtures at Carrow Road will now take place behind closed doors, until further notice.
"The news comes following the government’s decision to move the region of Norfolk into its tier four COVID-19 restriction from midnight on Friday, December 25.
"As a result, all supporters who have purchased tickets for the Sky Bet Championship games against Queens Park Rangers and Barnsley at Carrow Road will now be issued an automatic refund.
All at Norwich City would like to thank supporters for their continued understanding and compliance during this period."
The tiered system continues as the national vaccination programme begins the fightback against the pandemic, which brought the first UK lockdown in March and has been responsible for almost 70,000 deaths in the UK and over 1.7 million worldwide.
Transmission rates are being reviewed regularly so it's unclear how long Norfolk will remain in tier four, with City also due to play home Championship games against Bristol City and Middlesbrough next month.