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Football fans return as Brighton host Chelsea with new safety measures in place

Football fans are back at a top-level ground with Brighton welcoming 2,500 supporters to the Amex for the pre-season clash with Chelsea.

Fans have been kept away amid the coronavirus pandemic with the end of the season having been played behind closed doors.

But with Covid-19 hopefully easing, steps are being made for supporters to attend matches again.

And Brighton fans arrived early at the Amex having been kept away since March, when football stopped for three months.

There are plenty of hand sanitisers and Seagulls supporters were seen donning face coverings.

Brighton chief executive Paul Barber told The Athletic: “We had the plan in with the Premier League before the meeting with the secretary of state.

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“We had some feedback on it that was positive. Various clubs have put in their own plans for different test events at different times.

“We just happened to have a friendly on Saturday against Premier League opposition that was ready to go, with a plan ready.”

Tickets for the match went on sale on Wednesday via a staggered loyalty points system to season ticket holders and members of the 1901 Club.

There are plenty of sanitation stations around the Amex
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Ticket applications had to be accompanied by self-certification of no COVID-19 symptoms, isolating or quarantine measures.

Barber added: “It’s really important, without a track and trace app being available, that we know exactly who is in the stadium.

“We pushed the responsibility for checking the health of those supporters onto the supporters themselves because asking thousands of people to complete a questionnaire was not a practical solution.

Fans are socially distanced in the stands on the south coast
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