Safety is uppermost for everybody at the club as planning starts for a return to football action, and chief executive Nigel Clibbens confirmed that the use of a ‘traffic light’ zonal system, as seen at the televised games, will be utilised at Brunton Park for home and away staff, press, safety staff and support staff on match days.
“Things will change for everybody, and we’ve been looking at where these zones might be,” he said. “In line with the new regime, if you want to get into the match day Red Zone you’ll have to have had a test on the Thursday before the game, for instance.
“So, if you [club media team] were interviewing the manager, does that mean you need the test to get into the Red Zone? Currently you do. Then how does that work with the radio staff? What safeguards have they got in place so that everything can join together?
“There’s no point in the club staff being subjected to a strict testing regime if we then just let others into the limited zones.
“The final rules on that still might get amended, so we’ll have to wait and see. What is for sure is that the less cases there are, the fewer spikes and fewer lockdowns there are, the more relaxed people can be about the safeguards.
“If there’s more of this virus out there then the safeguards are going to increase. That’s been clear from the safety authorities and guidance from the off. They’ve made it clear we’re not going to get a capacity signed off for a certain level of fans now, and that’s it, we can crack on.
“It’s going to be a moving feast and if Carlisle peaks and we get some more cases then we, as a club, are going to have to go to the SAG [Safety Advisory Group] and consider how that impacts on our capacity, on the number of people we allow in, and who we allow in.
“They’ve made that absolutely clear to us, so these are all things we need to think about.”
“It’s great to be able to offer testing on site for the community, with the army and the NHS, but that means we’ve seen first-hand the throughput and the high number of tests that are going on,” he told us.
“We’ve worked with Carlisle Council and the Carlisle Partnership to promote that, and also to get the important messages about social distancing out there. But, like I say, that means we’re seeing for ourselves the number of people who are coming through, and I have to say that this is real.
“It hasn’t gone away. We might not be seeing it as live as we used to because it’s not making the headlines as much any more, but it hasn’t gone away. Locally it might be more active than we actually believe.
“When the evidence does emerge it might be that we find it’s been there all the time, and it’s only when people wake up to it that they actually react to it.
“That’s why we’ve got to get rid of this thing and we’ve got to keep it crushed.”
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