Merseyside Police is working with Everton FC, Liverpool FC, Liverpool City Council, Blue Union, Spirit of Shankly and the NHS, ahead of the derby game at Goodison Park on Sunday, 21 June 2020, and together we are urging fans to watch the game at home and keep themselves, their families, friends and neighbours safe.
Merseyside Police is used to policing football and although this is the first time we have policed a game that is behind closed doors and we are ready and prepared to encourage people to adhere to the social distancing guidelines currently in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Assistant Chief Constable Rob Carden, said: “We are still in unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and there are strong concerns in Merseyside, and the wider North West, due to the fact that the R rate here is disproportionately higher than other parts of the country.
“For that reason, together with the clubs, Blue Union, Spirit of Shankly, other supporters groups, Liverpool City Council and the NHS, we are urging supporters to do the right thing – stay at home, enjoy the opportunity to watch every second of the game free of charge on your own TV, in the comfort and safety of your own home – by doing this you keep yourself, your family, friends and neighbours safe.
“As with any normal match, a comprehensive and appropriate policing operation has been put in place ahead of Sunday’s game.
“We know that fans of both clubs won’t want to miss any of the game and will be happy to stay at home and watch the game in safety, in their own social bubble.
“Unfortunately, as we have seen throughout the lockdown period some people haven’t adhered to the regulations in place. There has been a lot of publicity around the restart of the season and there is no doubt that there will be a lot of media attention on the city. This is our opportunity to show the rest of the country, and even the world, why this city is revered for its ability to come together in challenging times and do the right thing.
“There will be a time when fans will return to the stadium and if Liverpool win the league there will be an opportunity to applaud the team and to celebrate their achievement, but now is not that time.
“To ensure the event can safely go ahead we will have officers on duty at the ground and surrounding area and they will be supported by specialist resources including the Dog Section and mounted police. The National Police Air Service will also be available to support us. We will also have a wider city policing plan in place throughout the day, which is standard procedure.
“I truly hope you have a great weekend and we all look forward to sharing your experiences watching the match at home on the social media sites of the football clubs and supporters’ groups as we celebrate the return of football to the city safely.”