Published: 10:17, 20 August 2020
| Updated: 10:23, 20 August 2020
No children will be allowed at this weekend’s Swale derby as Sittingbourne prepare to take on Sheppey.
Initially due to be played behind closed doors, a change in government and FA guidelines means the Brickies will be able to welcome a maximum crowd of 200 to Woodstock on Saturday (3pm).
Entry will be via e-ticket, priced £5, with 150 tickets available to home fans and 50 for the Ites.
However, given it’s Sittingbourne’s first chance to put their Covid plans into practice, it’s adults only for the pre-season friendly.
“Unfortunately we are stating no children at this test event,” said the Brickies.
“We apologise that for this game only we are unable to admit children and that ticket purchase options are limited.
“This is because of the extremely late notice to clubs at our level that support restrictions have been lifted somewhat and it is not an easy or a quick task to put in all of the steps that must be taken in order to follow the Covid 19 prevention rules, especially as we were given what appeared an optimistic date of 1st October to be able to have supporters in the ground.”
Sittingbourne have worked hard to put plans in place for the safe return of supporters, right down to instructing supporters not to retrieve balls that go into the crowd.
A Brickies statement added: “These steps, that have been identified from the Sittingbourne FC and Woodstock club Covid 19 prevention risk assessments, will include temperature checks for all on entering the ground, regular sanitisation of the handrails and other areas that can be touched, socially distancing signs that must be followed, including socially distanced seating identified by crosses on seats that cannot be used and ticks on those that can.
"Hand sanitisers will be available throughout the ground. We have a right to refuse entry for those who do not follow the requirement.
“In addition please do not retrieve the balls. This will be done by stewards and spare sanitised balls will be spread around the perimeter of the playing area.”
Home fans looking to attend should send a message to email@example.com.
Payment will be via Bourne's paypal page where names and contact details of ticket holders must be registered for track and trace purposes.
Tickets are limited to three per purchase with applications accepted until noon on Saturday.
Sheppey chairman Matt Smith is contacting away fans for ticket sales.