Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16.44 14 Dec 2020


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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard feels that Premier League sides should be exempt from the tiered coronavirus restrictions in place in England.

Over the past couple of weeks, small numbers of supporters have been allowed to return stadiums in certain parts of England.

Areas like London, Merseyside and East Sussex have been ranked as tier-2 regions in terms of COVID-19 risk by the UK government.

That's meant 2,000 fans have been allowed attend games involving Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea, West Ham, Arsenal, and Brighton among others over the past nine days.

However, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases over the last number of weeks London has been moved to tier-3 status.

Along with that change in status comes the closure of Premier League stadiums Stamford Bridge, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Selhurst Park, the Emirates, Craven Cottage and the London Stadium.

The next review of the tiers won't come until January.

Addressing the House of Commons on Monday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, "We are acting ahead of the formal review date.

"I am very grateful to colleagues at Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and the Joint Biosecurity Centre, whose surveillance of this virus means we can act very rapidly when a problem arises.

"We have, therefore, decided to move Greater London, the south and west of Essex, which includes Basildon, Brentwood, Harlow, Epping Forest, Castlepoint, Rochford, Maldon, Braintree and Chelmsford, along with Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea and Borough Councils, along with the south of Hertfordshire into Tier 3, which is a very high alert level."

Lampard believes the Premier League has shown its ability to safely deal with a limited return of fans.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's trip to Wolves, Lampard said, "Even though we are in tier-2, we have had fans in for a game already I did think it should be a level playing field for fans with some clubs having it and some can't.

"I think we have felt it already on the pitch with the backing they give you and what it can do to the game. I think that should be level.

"I also can't tell the government what to do but to control 2,000 fans coming into a stadium if they come in from within that tier or however they want to do that to keep things moving along. So it is unfortunate to say the least."

He added, "Let's be honest, we are making it up as we go along. That's not to sound critical but it is the fact of never being in the position before.

"I think when you are talking about whether the clubs can control the situation then I think they have shown that so far they can.

"So I would like to have thought there would be something that we could do to get that 2,000 number in.

"Again, that goes above my station so I am just saying what I think."

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