Rio de Janeiro to allow fans back into football stadiums

Rio de Janeiro to allow fans back into football stadiums

Despite a rise in the 7-day rolling average of new daily deaths, the city of Rio de Janeiro will allow fans to attend football matches starting in October. The match between Rio side Flamengo and Athletico Paranaense, scheduled for October 4, is set to be Brazil’s first game with fans in six-plus months. If results are positive, other stadiums in Rio will be allowed to reopen.

Ticket sales will happen exclusively online, in order to avoid public gatherings at ticket offices. Moreover, only one-third of seats can be filled — which, in the case of the Maracanã stadium, means roughly 20,000 fans.

Some rules must be followed, such as the mandatory use of facemasks, social distancing of at least 1.5 meters between people in the stands, and temperature measurement at entrance gates.

Football was one of the first activities to return from coronavirus-imposed quarantines in Brazil, and the management of the epidemic among players and staff has been haphazard, to say the least. As an example, Flamengo recorded six cases of Covid-19 among their playing squad on Sunday night, but the club will not be impeded from playing a continental tie in Guayaquil, Ecuador tomorrow evening.

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