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Updates to the UEFA Return to Play Protocol confirmed

Players who are not vaccinated and/or have not recovered from COVID-19 will only be allowed to undergo PCR tests to access the venue; reciprocal testing introduced for home side, if away team is required to undergo COVID-19 testing to reach and/or enter the match venue

  UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

The UEFA Executive Committee has approved further amendments to the UEFA Return to Play Protocol (RTTP), resulting in the publication of the sixth edition of this protocol.

The approved amendments to the RTTP, which were thoroughly discussed and evaluated in consultation with the UEFA Protocol Advisory Panel, are limited to a very minimum and reflect the evolution of the epidemiological situation in Europe.

The main changes of the UEFA Return to Play Protocol v6 are as follows:

1. Testing programme: (Section 6.5.1)

Given the development of PCR-tests and, in particular, the reduced turnaround time for test results to be delivered, individuals of the relevant target groups as stipulated in the Protocol who are either not fully vaccinated and/or not recently recovered from COVID-19 will only be able to access the match venue on production of a negative PCR test, antigen testing is no longer sufficient or permitted for this purpose. Teams must organise this test themselves with an accredited testing service provider.

2. Testing programme: (Section 6.5.1)

It has been decided to introduce the principle of “reciprocal testing”. As some of the country’s relevant authorities within the UEFA territory are requiring COVID-19 testing to enter the country, the visiting teams traveling to these match venues will be required to undergo specific COVID-19 related testing to be able to reach the match venue. Therefore, to ensure an equal treatment of teams playing against each other, whenever the whole visiting team delegation is required to perform a specific pre-departure and/or on-arrival test in order to enter the match venue country, the whole host team delegation will be subject to the same testing requirements as applicable to the visiting team delegation.

Version 7

On 20 April 2022, the latest version of the protocol was published: access it here.