Netherlands will allow 5,000 spectators in the match against Latvia

Netherlands will allow 5,000 viewers who have tested negative for COVID-19 to attend their qualifier for the 2022 World Cup against Latvia this month as part of a study that could help the public return to games faster, the Dutch FA (KNVB) said.

Spectators at the Johan Cruyff Arena on March 27 will be divided into different sectors, where some will have to wear masks but others will be able to go without them and be able to sing and shout cheering for the team.

The experiment, which is carried out in collaboration with the Dutch government, will analyze how many contact situations there are between people at the event. “This is a good experiment with which we can show that we may soon be able to have people back in the stadium again,” Gijs de Jong, KNVB general secretary, said in a statement on Wednesday.

He added that spectators would have to prove they tested negative for the virus before they could enter the stadium.

“If they are negative, they can prove it with an app at the stadium and they can enter it in combination with their match ticket. This is a way that it could also work with clubs (in the Dutch league) and the European Championship, ”added De Jong.

Amsterdam will host several matches of the European Championship in June.

Similar studies were conducted in two matches in the Dutch second division with the attendance of around 1,300 spectators last month.

The fans were divided into six sections, all with different levels of contact and rules on preventing the spread of the new coronavirus.

Fieldlabs, which is running the experiment, said a spectator at the game in Nijmegen was found to be infected, but after the game in Almere there were no reports of infection.