Rangers have been handed a major boost with the news that their legendary travelling support will be allowed to attend Europa League away days, subject to local conditions.
The Gers have drawn Ligue 1 Lyon, Czech Republic outfit Sparta Prague and Danish Champions Brondby in Group A of the competition this season.
👀 ICYMI – UEFA Executive Committee approved amendments to the 5th edition of the UEFA Return to Play Protocol.
🏟️ Ban on away fans attending UEFA competition matches not extended; decision is subject to requirements imposed by relevant authorities.
⬇️ All you need to know:⬇️
— UEFA (@UEFA) September 7, 2021
Rangers fans have always travelled in their numbers to towns and cities across Europe and according to UEFA, will be allowed to again this season.
This is after the Covid-19 pandemic prevented away fans from travelling during the club’s successful Euro campaign last season which saw Steven Gerrard’s side reach the Last 16 of the competition.
With the ban lifted this week, this in theory allows away fans to attend matches from next week, when the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League kick off.
“Considering the different rules and regulations applicable across the UEFA member association territories, it was decided to no longer apply the MHHRRS, but to leave any decision with regards to spectators to the relevant competent authorities,” said UEFA.
“Therefore, the relevant section referring to the admission of spectators in the UEFA Return to Play Protocol has been adapted accordingly.
“Moreover, in line with the adaptations to the Protocol, the exchange of tickets for the fans of visiting teams is no longer forbidden.
“Therefore, standard practices will be reinstated, i.e. 5 per cent of the total allowed stadium capacity will be reserved to fans of the away team, subject to any decision in this respect falling under the responsibility of the relevant competent authorities.”
Rangers kick off their Europa League campaign against French outfit Lyon at Ibrox with the club’s first away day set to be to the Czech Republic to face Sparta Prague on the 30th of September.
Fully vaccinated passengers from the UK can travel to the Czech Republic without needing to self-isolate or needing to take a pre-departure PCR test [Gov.uk].
If you have not been vaccinated you can only enter the Czech Republic for essential reasons, with the country also on Scotland’s amber list.
This means travellers will have to take a PCR test before travelling and self-isolate for 10 days on return – unless they are fully vaccinated – with tests taken day two and day eight of their return depending on vaccination status.
The next away trip is to face Brondby in Denmark, with the Scandinavian nation country currently having the UK on their own amber list.
This means fully-vaccinated travellers can enter the country without a negative PCR test whereas unvaccinated travellers need a “worthy purpose” to travel [Danish Gov].
Despite Denmark being on the green list, fully-vaccinated travellers will still need to take a PCR test prior to travelling and another two days upon arrival back in the county [Scot Gov].
Fully vaccinated travellers to France to see Rangers play Lyon will not need to self-isolate or present a negative test whilst unvaccinated travellers will need an exemption to enter the country [Gov.UK].
Being an amber list country, the rules for returning from France are the same as the Czech Republic with unvaccinated travellers needing to self-isolate for 10 days and a PCR needed to travel regardless of your vaccination status.
Upon entry back into the UK, and if we’re interpreting this correctly, travellers must always complete a traveller locater form, present a negative PCR test and then book another PCR test within two days of arriving in Scotland [Scot Gov].
It’s added an extra expense and worry on to your trip with the Scottish Government charging £68 per test.
We’re sure that won’t stop plenty of fans making the trip but these are likely to be somewhat different from the travelling parties of days gone by.
Rangers have also released details regarding those home matches at Ibrox with fans being asked to shell out for the briefs ahead of the upcoming European campaign.