Fans return: 2,000 supporters WILL be permitted to attend matches at Carrow Road as Norwich placed in Tier 2
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City supporters will be allowed to attend matches at Carrow Road again after the city was placed in Tier 2 by the government in the latest set of coronavirus restrictions.
Two thousand Canaries fans will be permitted to attend games in a socially distanced manner with a reduced capacity from next week, with the first match being against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, December 5.
The government outlined their next steps following the national lockdown that is set to end on Tuesday, December 2. Prime minister Boris Johnson has opted to return to the tiered system seen prior to the nationwide restrictions.
Norfolk has been placed in Tier 2 along with Suffolk and the majority of East Anglia - paving the way for supporters to make a long-awaited return to Carrow Road. Tier 2 is described as 'high alert'.
In a statement explaining the decision, health secretary Matt Hancock wrote: "The majority of Norfolk is improving. Case rates are 123/100,000, and positivity is 5.0%. Case rates for over 60s remain over 100 per 100,000 in Great Yarmouth, Norwich and South Norfolk (with increasing trajectories in the last two areas)."
Under those restrictions, 2,000 supporters will be allowed to return to sporting events. King's Lynn Town are also set to be boosted by the return of supporters next month. Grassroots sports will return, and gyms will re-open.
In Tier 1, 4,000 supporters are permitted to return, although no professional football clubs fall into the areas with the lowest set of restrictions. The situation will be reviewed on December 16 at the earliest.
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City were one of a few EFL clubs to host a pilot event trialling the return of supporters back in October. One thousand City fans were inside Carrow Road to witness the 2-2 draw with Preston North End in October.
The club have lobbied hard for the return of fans. Majority shareholder Delia Smith wrote an open letter to the prime minister urging the government to reconsider their decision to pull the plug on supporters return after a rise in Covid-19 numbers and the subsequent three-tiered system of localised restrictions put in place saw football continue behind closed doors.
The Canaries have also supported the #LetFansIn campaign, displaying the hashtag on LED screens around the stadium and posting it on their official social media channels.
City's fixture with Luton Town at Kenilworth Road next Wednesday could be the first to be played in front of supporters after the area was placed in Tier 2. The Hatters are yet to confirm whether plans are in place for the return.
Norwich City are yet to confirm their plans and are understood to be awaiting further guidance from the EFL.