As Leicester City’s big game in the FA Cup Final approaches, which so happens to be their first in more than 50 years, Leicester City Council are encouraging fans to support the team safely.
Leicester’s director of public health Ivan Browne was born in Leicester and is a life-long Leicester City fan. Browne has expressed his hopes that victory will be on the cards for LCFC, but is adamant that fans must continue to be careful so that the city avoids a spike in Covid-19 cases.
“This is a massive day for Leicester City and its fans, and naturally we all want to make the most of the occasion, but let’s not forget that coronavirus hasn’t gone away yet,” he said.
“After the incredibly difficult year we’ve had in Leicester, a Cup Final is a brilliant tonic that will give us all a boost. But what no one wants is for something so positive to turn into something negative for us all.
“Set up your TV in your garden, and you can even invite up to five friends round to join you, book a table in a beer garden and watch the game with your mates, or just get the snacks in and enjoy the game with your family at home.
“However tempting it is to break the rules, please don’t. Show your love for your team and your city by supporting City safely.
“Respect the rule of six, refrain from mixing indoors with people you don’t live with, and remember that COVID loves a crowd, so keeping your distance can really help keep you safe.
“Wearing a face covering, washing your hands regularly, and staying apart from anyone you don’t live with can help protect you from the virus and its variants.
“The result at Wembley will obviously mean a lot to me as a City fan, but what’s even more important is that, in the days following the match, the data continues to show that the infection rate in Leicester is coming down.”
It’s reported that 6,250 Leicester fans will be travelling to Webley to watch the match in person. However, all of those going are required to take a covid test beforehand to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. They are being asked to take their tests no more than 48 hours before entry into the Wembley stadium, so they should book their appointments from 2.15pm on the 13th May at the earliest.
The council will be extending the opening hours at its six rapid testing centres in the run-up to Saturday, to provide ample opportunities for fans to get tested.
Special arrangements in place for the FA Cup Final mean that fans are encouraged to book their appointment to ensure they get their test in time. Tests must be taken no more than 48 hours before entry to Wembley stadium, so fans need to book their appointments from 2.15pm on Thursday (13 May).
Leicester’s testing sites will be open until 10pm on Thursday (13 May) and Friday (14 May) – and from 8am on Cup Final day (15 May), for fans who leave it until the last minute. Results are sent by text or email within 30 minutes of the test.
LCFC is also working with the council to ensure transport plans run smoothly on match day. Most fans will be utilising the official club coaches which will pick up from Raw Dykes Road and the Enderby Park & Ride.
Licensing Enforcement Officers from the council will be contacting licensed premises in Leicester to provide guidance and information that will help them operate safely on Cup Final day. They will also be jointly monitoring premises with the police throughout the day to ensure they are operating safely.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “It’s been a long time since Leicester enjoyed an FA Cup Final, so understandably there’s a lot of excitement in the city.
“I want to wish the team the very best of luck. Whatever happens at Wembley, Brendan Rodgers and the players have made us very proud. And the best thing we can do to show our appreciation is to support them safely.”
By Sam Ellison