At a number of recent local matches there have been people from the football community who had been off-island and who had potentially not yet received their negative Covid-19 test result. Some had been away for a fixture, others had been working or on holiday and had returned in the previous 24 hours. As the island’s highest profile sport, it was likely that concerns of their attendance at matches would be raised and this has resulted in some negativity directed towards our game.
Whilst we understand this issue does not breach the rules or laws of football, the Government of Jersey Level 1 guidelines has always read: “While awaiting their test result passengers are encouraged to take reasonable steps to limit the time they spend away from their residence and to limit their social contact during this time.” We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that we all have a moral and ethical responsibility in the management of Covid, to follow the guidelines seriously, and not to put others at risk. Attending games without a test result does not just have a potential impact on everyone at the match, but also their families who may be particularly vulnerable.
The Government of Jersey is dealing with the response to Covid and the associated guidelines on a sector-by-sector basis. The guidelines for hospitality are different to the guidelines for education, which are different to the guidelines for business. While we share the frustrations this can bring, all we can do is comply with the guidelines for sport. When the Government of Jersey comes to review gathering limits for local sports, we desperately want football to be in a strong position and for supporters to be allowed back in larger numbers. We look forward to demonstrating all the positive work that has been going on in clubs to ensure they are Covid-19 secure and are continuing to take this pandemic seriously. If anyone does decide to attend a game in a playing or spectating capacity before receiving a negative test, then they will risk damaging the reputation of our sport, their club and themselves.
It is therefore the stance of the association that if anyone returns from being off island, we would not expect to see them at local football matches (on or off the pitch) until they have received a negative test result. As an association all we can do is advise at this time and hope this is followed by everyone in football.
Thank you for your support in ensuring football can continue safely in these unprecedented times. We are here to help when needed, therefore if you would like to discuss any Covid related matters then please do not hesitate to get in touch.