Germany and Switzerland have ordered sporting events to be played behind closed doors once again, as a result of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The respective governments have confirmed that supporters will be prevented from watching sport in stadiums on health and safety grounds, and Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed that the new rules will come into effect from 2 November for Germany.
The Bundesliga was the first European league to resume after the first wave of the Coronavirus, with football fans across the globe tuning in to watch the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in the absence of sport in their own countries.
German football took another huge leap forward when it was announced that stadiums could be filled up to 20% capacity but it appears as though plans will be shelved for now.
The German Football League (DFL) had expressed concerns that the new measures were being neglected.
In a statement on the matter, the DFL said: “The Bundesliga and second Bundesliga clubs developed in the past weeks a health plan for the effective protection of spectators in the stadiums and agreed it with local health authorities.
“Fans and clubs then stuck to the rules with discipline living up to their responsibilities. That is why it is regrettable that this will not be possible for now.”
Switzerland has also severely reduced the capacity of spectators at football and ice hockey matches. Just 50 people will be allowed inside stadiums, compared to the 1000 that were watching games in September.
The country has done its best to help where possible, providing financial aid of up to €328m in federal loans for sporting clubs who may find themselves struggling again.
Insider Insight: The spectator ban in Germany might come as a shock, given the country was one of the first to give fans the green light, but health and safety is paramount in the current climate and the sooner the new measures are implemented, the sooner supporters will be allowed to return.