FOOTBALL fans have flocked to a game in Shildon this afternoon after parts of the North-East were put under local lockdown.

Enthusiasts have turned out to watch Shildon AFC battle Chester-le-Street Town FC at Shildon’s home ground today.

The Northern Echo:

Despite the lockdown, fans said the stadium is conforming to social distancing guidelines and has issued announcements encouraging spectators to stay safe.

One fan Dale Lee, 27, from Darlington said: “It’s about time matches were open to spectators. I think the Government should open everything back up and put safety measures in place like masks and hand sanitiser. I don’t think we should have been put into local lockdown because the only reason the numbers of cases are shooting up is because so many people are getting tested. Thousands of people have died with the flu since the beginning of time and I think it’s just something we’re going to have to live with like we do the normal flu.

“It’s a bit strange that I’m allowed to come here because I can’t go round my mate's house. Rules definitely need clarifying and thinking about. It just doesn't make sense, I've spoken to a few of the fans who agree. If we're safe here we can surely take the same steps at home and stay safe." 

The Northern Echo:

Another fan who said he did not want to be named, said that families should be able to visit each other if they can go to a football match.

The Northern Echo:

The 67-year-old said: “I think it’s daft to be honest and totally hypocritical that I can go to a football game with dozens or hundreds of people but can’t go and see my family in their houses - even though I know they have taken precautions. If we are in the second wave and it is as bad as we are being told I can’t understand why they are allowing so many people to mix. Is a football ground immune to the virus?

"Shildon have really done a good job putting safety measures in place and I feel safe otherwise I wouldn't be here but I can do the same things and be safe whilst mixing with my family in their homes

“I think the decision to put County Durham in lockdown shows up this Government and shows the world Boris does not know what he is doing. I think this local lockdown is ridiculous because the Government are picking and choosing what to keep open to benefit his agenda.”