Northants will welcome supporters back to the County Ground next week
Northants have confirmed they will be welcoming back supporters to the County Ground for next week's match against Lancashire.
The four-day LV= Insurance County Championship encounter with the Red Rose begins next Thursday (May 20), four days after the latest lifting of the Government's Covid-19 restrictions.
The match against Lancashire will be the first time that supporters have been allowed into the County Ground since the final match of the 2019 season more than 20 months ago, a win over Durham.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press briefing on Monday afternoon, and confirmed: "We'll unlock the turnstiles of our sports stadia subject to capacity limits."
That means, from next Monday (May 17), up to 10,000 fans or 25 per cent of capacity, whichever figure is lower, will be allowed at larger outdoor venues, while at smaller outdoor venues, the limit will be capped at 4,000 or 50 per cent of capacity.
Northants fall into the latter category, and have already notified season ticket holders and life members of the details ahead of their much-anticipated return.
It still won't be a return to normal for matchday for supporters though, as all season-ticket holders and members must order a ticket for each day they want to attend.
They will then be allocated a zone, one of nine separate stands, where they can sit as each stand has limited capacity to ensure social distancing.
Supporters will also not be allowed to leave their zone and wander around the ground as they may have done in the past.
A statement from Northants read: "While the club understands supporters often enjoy moving around the ground throughout a day’s play, this is unfortunately not possible under current UK Government guidelines.
"Restrooms and refreshments are available within every zone, regardless of which stand or block you select.
"You’re able to claim seats on behalf of other season ticket holders or life members within your household or support bubble, up to a maximum of six tickets per day."
There will be no extra cost to season ticket holders or members for the tickets.
If some tickets remain available once members and season ticket holders have all ordered what they need, then they will be made available for sale as 'general admission tickets a day or two before the fixture'.
The stands they are able to select from are the Cube Disability Stand, Vogue Stand, Lynn Wilson Stand, Metcalf Stadn, Briggs & Forrester Stand, the Upper and Lower tiers of the Spencer Pavilion, the Turner Stand, the Michael Graham Stand and the West Stand.
Wantage Road has undergone a smartening up over the past few months, with the most notable change being that all the seats in the ground are now white.