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Green light for fans to return to baseball and football in South Korea

SUWON, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 19: Vissel Kobe fans are tested for signs of the coronavirus ahead of the AFC Champions League Group G match betwe(Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images)

The South Korean government is permitting a limited number of fans back into baseball and football stadiums under new rules aimed at preventing the spread of Covid-19.

From Sunday, July 26, baseball fans were allowed to attend KBO games, while football’s K League will open its doors to supporters from August 1.

To access stadiums fans must comply with strict health and safety protocols. They must wear masks at all times, go through temperature checks as they enter, and must provide their personal contact information.

Once in the stands, fans must sit apart from one another, no food or alcohol is allowed and chanting and singing is prohibited.

All tickets must be purchased in advance with credit cards, a measure designed to limit person-to-person contact at box offices and to expedite contact tracing in case of positive tests.

Not all games were open to fans, however, as games played in cities that remain under strict social distancing guidelines were not allowed to welcome back fans.

South Korean baseball was among the first sport to resume during the Covid-19 pandemic but without expected gate revenue some clubs are said to be facing financial difficulties.

Both leagues will only be allowed to sell 10 per cent of the seats available at any given game, which will provide at least some revenue.