It has now been confirmed that Merseyside will be placed into ‘Tier 2’ of the new coronavirus restrictions, meaning 2,000 fans WILL be allowed back into Goodison Park from next month, starting with the Chelsea game on 12 December
Everton fans will allowed back to Goodison Park within weeks under plans announced by the UK Government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that England will come out of national lockdown on Wednesday 2 December to be replaced by an updated three-tiered system (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have different measures imposed by their devolved administrations).
Under that system it was confirmed that teams in an area placed in Tier 1 will be able to allow up to 4,000 fans to attend matches, while teams in a Tier 2 area would be able to have up to 2,000 supporters.
Clubs in Tier 3 would still have to play matches behind closed doors.
It has now been confirmed that the Liverpool city region will be placed into Tier 2, meaning fans will be able to return for the game against Chelsea on December 12.
The Liverpool city region was placed under Tier 3 measures immediately prior to the lockdown, with infection rates amongst the highest in the country.
Thankfully since then, those rates have started to come down and are now below the national average. That has been helped by a mass testing programme that has been piloted in the city, where anyone can get tested for Covid-19 even if they are not displaying symptoms, in an attempt to drive down infections.
Fans at the game will consist of season ticket holders who enter a ballot. Everton announced their intention to use such a method to allocate tickets in September, before plans to allow fans to return were postponed following a sharp rise in positive cases.
Fans have not been present at Goodison since the 1-1 draw against Manchester United at the start of March.
A few thousand supporters is still a long way from normality, but it is a least a huge step in the right direction. And with more positive news about a potential vaccine also emerging on Monday, it seems there is finally some light at what has been a very dark tunnel for all of us.