New ‘Rapid Test’ plan gives a date for fans stadium return

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A leading British technology firm have given the UK government a pilot scheme intending to allow sports fans to be in stadiums as early as October, in what could be massive lift to the sports industry.

Scottish fans haven’t been inside grounds since Rangers’ defeat to Bayer Leverkusen all the way back in March, but the four month spell may be set to end after this recent breakthrough.

The “Fans are Back” plan, put forward by VST Enterprises LTD, would involve spectators being tested at a pre-arranged appointment the day before an event. Getting the results would take approximately ten minutes with a negative giving the supporter the all-clear to attend, this whilst being strongly encouraged to self-isolate until the match.

After receiving test results fan’s data is entered into the mobile phone app ‘V-Health Passport’ where subjects must give personal information such as their name, address and doctors information.

However, whilst giving up data may make some uneasy, V-Health have been regularly praised for their handling of people’s information, they do not track or trace people’s location and use advanced encryption in order to protect users, also staying away from Bluetooth technology known to previously put data at risk.

Initially pilot programmes will only cover football, rugby and snooker but successful results will see entertainment sectors such as music concerts and theatre follow suit. No doubt being a huge boost to industries hit hard by Covid-19.

Sports Minister Richard Caborn spoke highly of Fans are Back, saying:

“In my opinion it is a significant and positive way in ensuring that spectator sports can resume in the UK where we test test test and use a health passport to validate that test result. That is the only way we can ensure that sports fans are safely entering a stadium as test negative.”

Fans are Back, what happens on the pilot?

  1. A test group of 500-5000 home fans are selected by their football or rugby team randomly to participate. They are instructed to download the V-Health Passport and enter the relevant information before verifying their ID and comparing it using their phone’s facial recognition.
  2. The sample group are given the ‘rapid test’ at a pre-booked appointment the day before the test event.
  3. Their status is uploaded to the V-Health app which uses a traffic light system to show results, displaying a green light should they come back negative. A more in-depth screen is made available for authorised medical personal to view.
  4. Self-isolation is strongly encouraged until matchday, where supporter’s health passports are scanned by stewards. Relevant procedures will be in place in order to prevent choke-points and bottle necks.
  5. Data received will be used to aid NHSX teams, positive cases for instance will be contact traced.

image credit: Mirror.co.uk

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