Silverstone backs ‘vaccine passports’ to enable full British GP crowd

Silverstone Circuit has joined several sporting bodies that are calling for the reliance on “vaccine passports” to enable full crowd capacity at venues this summer, including at the British GP.

The thinking goes – if all the fans are vaccinated, or have had Covid and have antibodies, why not then allow full attendance?

Although the UK government is set to lift some restrictions next month from May 17 in a run-up to additional relaxation from June 21, a group of sporting bodies have sent a joint letter to prime minister Boris Johnson and to major political leaders in the UK requesting the introduction of a “Covid certification process” that would allow fans to safely return to venues.

Silverstone was a co-signatory of the letter along with the Football Association, Premier League, England and Wales Cricket Board, Wimbledon organizers AELTC, the Rugby League and Rugby Union governing bodies.

“Looking ahead to June 21, we support the government’s ambition to secure the full return of fans, without restrictions if possible,” the group of sporting bodies stated in its joint letter.

“Of necessity, this will depend upon the government agreeing that it is safe to lessen or drop social distancing requirements.

“It is important that we have certainty as soon as possible on the form this guidance will take so we can plan efficiently and effectively with many big sporting events scheduled for late June and onwards.”

A certified “vaccine passport” would equate to a free pass to sporting events for those individuals either vaccinated against COVID-19, who have had a negative test or who have developed antibodies after contracting the coronavirus.

“All of our sports can see the benefit that a Covid certification process offers in getting more fans safely back to their sport as quickly as possible,” read the letter.

“We know that our stadia can only be fully filled with an assurance process.

“This process must ensure that everyone can access stadia and must include arrangements that would verify a negative Covid test or an antibody test alongside vaccination certification.

“The final approach must not be discriminatory, should protect privacy, and have clear exit criteria.

“Based on these principles, we support the review of the use of covid certification for major events. Any final decision on their application should follow an assessment of the evidence gathered in the forthcoming ERP trials.

“We look forward to working with Government and all interested parties, including our stakeholders and fans, to deliver the great sporting summer the whole nation craves.”