BCD guide: Before the match

15 Jun 2020
Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Find out the measures in place to ensure stadiums are safe ahead of kick-off behind closed doors for Premier League matches

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With the 2019/20 Premier League matches having resumed behind closed doors from Wednesday 17 June, here is a guide to the safety measures in place for matchdays and to what fans watching at home can look out for.

Before the match
Making the stadiums safe

Premier League clubs have worked with local authorities and others to minimise the risk to public health and the reliance on local health and other emergency services. 

Clubs must ensure that stadium access is only for specific people. In total, about 300 will be allowed at stadiums for each match until the end of the season. 

Stadiums will be divided into three zones: red, amber and green. Each zone has unique protocols and procedures and are only accessible to particular people. 

BCD Stadium Layout

Red Zone
Only people who have had tests in the five days before a match can enter. The zone includes the pitch, the technical area, the tunnel and the dressing rooms.

These people must have a "clinical passport", a bar code either as a print-out or on their phone. This is scanned to check their most recent test result is negative before they can enter the stadium.

The maximum number of people allowed in this zone is 110. 

Amber Zone
This covers all areas of the inside of the stadium with the exception of the Red Zone. It includes stands, concourses and pitchside interview areas.

Entry and exit points are strictly managed and, to gain access, individuals must have completed a medical questionnaire, as well as having their temperature checked on arrival.

Green Zone
This is the area outside the stadium, where access control points, vehicle parking and outside broadcast compounds and units are located. 

Access will be granted in accordance with the club’s COVID-19 policy.  

Players' journeys to the stadium 

In line with the Return to Training Protocol, players and staff are required to still undergo daily screening. 

Before leaving for a match, they must complete relevant checks for COVID-19 and report any symptoms. 

Teams can travel to the stadium via car, coach, plane or train, but must do so in sterile environments. 

In all of these transport modes, they must apply social distancing, with appropriate space between occupied seats and full hygiene measures observed. 

Those players or staff driving their own vehicles should do so alone. 

Aston Villa v Sheffield United
Players can travel to stadiums on the team bus but there must be space between occupied seats

In line with Government legislations, hotels should be for essential use only. If hotels are used, risk assessment and mitigating measures should be applied. 

When players arrive at the stadium

On arriving at the stadium, players and staff will be given a sterile route from their vehicles to the dressing room.

Manchester City v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Upon arrival at stadiums, players must be able to access the dressing-rooms via a sterile route

The dressing rooms for teams and match officials must have enough space to allow for suitable social-distancing. This may mean additional rooms are used.

Teams will be encouraged to stagger their use of changing rooms, while showers can be used, as long as individuals remain socially distanced.

Use of the players’ tunnel

At some stadiums, teams will use different tunnels.

Where there is one tunnel, players and match officials will stagger their journeys to and from the pitch before, during and after a match. 

They should not gather in or around the tunnel area at any time, and there should be no handshakes inside the tunnel. 

Match officials' pre-match meeting with captains

Instead of taking place in their room inside the stadium, the match officials' pre-match meeting with the two captains can happen out on the pitch.

Captains meeting
Pre-match warm-ups

During the warm-ups, players and officials should seek to minimise close contact.

Pre-match warm-ups
Hygiene in the stadium

Clubs must apply strict cleaning measures at stadiums, with widespread disinfection taking place.

This will include, but is not limited to, changing facilities, dugouts, matchballs, goalposts, corner flags and substitution boards. 

Aston Villa v Sheffield United - Premier League

Hand-sanitiser dispensers must be freely available throughout the stadium, as well as hand-washing facilities being clearly signposted. 


People other than players and coaching staff on team benches must wear face coverings, although this will be waived at certain times for broadcast presenters and commentators, while observing social-distancing guidelines. 

Also in this series

Introduction: Your essential guide to Premier League behind closed doors (BCD)
Part 2: BCD guide: During the match
Part 3: BCD guide: After the match
Part 4: BCD guide: What will be different on TV?
Part 5: BCD guide: Matchday features

Download: Premier League 2019/20 Season Restart guide (PDF; 807KB)

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