Silverstone backs 'vaccine passports' to enable full British GP crowd

© XPB 

Silverstone Circuit has joined several sporting bodies that are calling for the reliance on "vaccine passports" to enable full crowd capacity at venues this summer, including at the British GP.

The onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic last year crippled the organization of most sporting events, including the two rounds of F1 racing held behind closed gates at Silverstone.

Although the UK government is set to lift some restrictions next month from May 17 in a run-up to additional relaxation from June 21, a group of sporting bodies have sent a joint letter to prime minister Boris Johnson and to major political leaders in the UK requesting the introduction of a "Covid certification process" that would allow fans to safely return to venues.

Silverstone was a co-signatory of the letter along with the Football Association, Premier League, England and Wales Cricket Board, Wimbledon organisers AELTC, the Rugby League and Rugby Union governing bodies.

The group has been heavily impacted by the massive financial burden of the COVID pandemic and argues that next month's partial lifting of restrictions, with venues allowed to run at 25% capacity, would be "insufficient to end sport’s Covid financial crisis."

"Looking ahead to June 21, we support the government’s ambition to secure the full return of fans, without restrictions if possible," the group of sporting bodies stated in its joint letter.

"Of necessity, this will depend upon the government agreeing that it is safe to lessen or drop social distancing requirements.

"It is important that we have certainty as soon as possible on the form this guidance will take so we can plan efficiently and effectively with many big sporting events scheduled for late June and onwards."

A certified "vaccine passport" would equate to a free pass to sporting events for those individuals either vaccinated against COVID-19, who have had a negative test or who have developed antibodies after contracting the coronavirus.

"All of our sports can see the benefit that a Covid certification process offers in getting more fans safely back to their sport as quickly as possible," read the letter.

"We know that our stadia can only be fully filled with an assurance process.

"This process must ensure that everyone can access stadia and must include arrangements that would verify a negative Covid test or an antibody test alongside vaccination certification.

"The final approach must not be discriminatory, should protect privacy, and have clear exit criteria.

"Based on these principles, we support the review of the use of covid certification for major events. Any final decision on their application should follow an assessment of the evidence gathered in the forthcoming ERP trials.

"We look forward to working with Government and all interested parties, including our stakeholders and fans, to deliver the great sporting summer the whole nation craves."

This year's British GP will constitute the tenth round of the 2021 F1 world champion and is scheduled to take place at Silverstone on July 16-18.

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter