Read on for the answers to all your questions about NTL 2021 COVID-19 event protocols
Can spectators attend?
Yes, spectators can attend but there will be a limit of 1,500 spectators allowed at the event at any one time. For this reason, spectator entry cannot be guaranteed. If the event reaches capacity, spectators will be restricted from entering and, if necessary, asked to exit. The event will have several spectator entry and exit points. Spectators will need to register by scanning a QR code as they enter at one of the designated entry/exit points. Spectators will also need to check out when they are leaving the venue. Checking out is important, as it allows other spectators to enter. Spectators must not enter the event more than half an hour prior to the game they are coming to watch and must exit straight after the game.
Where can spectators watch from?
Spectators must watch a game from at least 5m back from the field of play. Spectators sitting in the stadium seating must ensure there is an empty seat between themselves and people from outside their own household (or team).
Will teams need to scan the QR code?
Registered event participants (players, referees, coaches and team staff) will receive a pass that will allow them to enter through the team entry and exit points without having to scan the QR code on entry and exit. Participants must ensure they have their pass on them when entering, otherwise they will need to use the spectator entry and scan the QR code. If a participant loses their pass, they will need to scan the code to enter and exit and may be restricted from entering if the event is at capacity.
What happens on Finals Day – can teams who have been knocked out spectate?
On Finals Day, teams that haven’t made the finals can no longer use their participant pass to enter; instead, they must enter and exit as a spectator by scanning the QR code. Spectator limits have been increased slightly for Finals Day because there will be fewer teams competing. However, this does not mean spectator attendance can be guaranteed. On Friday evening, teams participating on Finals Day will be issued with a Finals Day Pass.
What are the rules for referee entry?
Referees can attend the event all day. The referee change rooms will have maximum capacities but otherwise referees can move freely throughout the venue. Referees must have their participant pass to be able to enter and exit through the team entry points.
Can teams warm up at the venue?
Yes, though teams must not arrive any earlier than one timeslot prior to their playing time. They can warm up at the venue during the timeslot immediately prior to their game.
Can teams stay at the event between their games?
You are only required to leave the venue between games if you have a break of four or more timeslots between games. Open divisions have a minimum four-timeslot break between matches, which allows them to play, leave, recover and return. Teams with breaks of less than four timeslots can stay at the venue between games.
Can teams warm down at the venue?
Yes, though teams must leave the venue within 30 minutes of their game finishing (unless they have a short break between games, as detailed above). Warm-down can be done on-site within this 30-minute timeframe, but recovery activities (ice baths, massage, etc.) can’t be done at the venue.
Will the event be split into zones?
Although the venue comprises of three areas (the stadium, the hockey fields and the Leisure Park) the event has been designated as one zone. Having the one zone allows crossover between these different areas to occur, as long as the total number of people on-site at the venue is below 3,000 at any one time. Each of the three areas will have a team-only entry/exit point and a spectator entry/exit point. Spectators will need to show gate staff they are checked into the venue via the QR code check-in and must check out when they are leaving the venue to allow other spectators to attend.
Will there be entity tents?
There will be entity tents but they must not be used the way they have been in the past. These tents are to be used for medical purposes (i.e. strapping) only. There is a COVID-19 capacity rule for each tent. Team meeting points should be out on the field where you intend to warm up rather than the tent. Spectators are not permitted in the tent area.
My entity’s medical staff are based at our hotel.
As usual, the TFA event Medical Team will be available on-site to help with injuries and other medical issues that occur at the event. Please ensure your team is prepared and carries a small first aid kit and ice to each game to treat minor injuries.
Will footballs be sanitised?
Prior to the start of each game, referees will be required to wipe down the footballs with sanitiser wipes provided by TFA. The team will need to wipe down their football at the end of the game.
What other rules will need to be followed?
-Hand sanitising: Teams will need to sanitise hands before and after each game.
-Sub-boxes will be used: The event will operate using the standard sub-box and TFA 8th Edition interchange rules as the sub-box meets the 1 person per 2 square-metre spacing requirements.
-People should refrain from: Handshaking, hugging or high-fiving.
-Social distancing: Off-field, standard social distancing measures will apply for everyone at the event.
These rules are subject to change at any time if circumstances or government restrictions change.