A limited number of spectators can return to Germany’s soccer stadiums when the new Bundesliga season kicks off this weekend after a six-week test phase was agreed on Tuesday.
Germany’s politicians are allowing each stadium to be at 20% of the capacity of the 18 Bundesliga clubs, as long as the seven-day coronavirus infection rate is less than or equal to 35 per 100,000 inhabitants in the local region.
That means around 15,000 fans could now see champion Bayern Munich kick off the new season on Friday at home to Schalke 04 at the Allianz Arena.
Fans must wear face masks and keep 1.5m away, while alcohol is prohibited and fans are not allowed.
“Sporting events thrive on the support of fans and the atmosphere with an audience – this applies to both Bundesliga games and amateur sports,” said Armin Laschet, state prime minister of Germany’s soccer hotbed, North Rhine-Westphalia.
There was already a test run in the first round of the German Cup last weekend.
A set number of fans was allowed in each field, and the number varied due to different regulations from health authorities from region to region.
Following a two-month hiatus after the coronavirus pandemic hit Germany in March, the Bundesliga became the first of Europe’s major leagues to resume in mid-May behind closed doors.
The last game of the German league played in front of the fans was on March 8.