CROWDS will return to Sixways for the first time in nine months when Bath make the journey up the M5 to tackle Warriors.
A crowd of 2,000 will be allowed to attend the Gallagher Premiership clash on Saturday – the first time fans have been inside Sixways since March 6.
But, while Warriors chiefs are making final preparations to welcome fans back, Worcester City will resume their season post-lockdown with a behind closed doors FA Vase clash at Shepshed Dynamo – an area of the country placed in tier 3 of Coronavirus restrictions meaning no fans are allowed.
“While we had hoped Worcestershire might be placed in Tier 1, which would have allowed us to have a crowd of 4,000, it’s still fantastic news we will have 2,000 spectators in,” said Warriors managing director Peter Kelly.
“We will also be making a little bit of history as the first Gallagher Premiership rugby match to be played in front of a non-pilot scheme crowd since March.
“It has been nine long and frustrating months since we last played rugby in front of our supporters and we hope this is a first positive step back towards normality.
“We will also be asking spectators to arrive at Sixways in specific time slots and to observe other COVID-19 protocols, including one-way systems, that have been put in place to ensure the safety of all staff and visitors to the stadium.
“We appreciate this will mean some alteration to normal matchday routines but these measures are necessary to ensure we can continue to admit spectators during these challenging times.”
Warriors Women will also be allowed crowds of up to 2,000 for their Allianz Premier 15s home matches, starting with the visit of Gloucester-Hartpury on Sunday.
City return to action after lockdown with a trip to Leicestershire on Saturday before a friendly at Wolverhampton Sporting on Tuesday.
The trip to the Black Country was to be a precursor to the resumption of the Midland Premier Division campaign on Saturday, December 12.
However, the Coventry United match has been postponed after Midland Football League bosses revealed an extended shutdown until at least December 19. A number of clubs play in tier three areas meaning no spectators can attend – a situation branded ‘unsustainable’ by MFL chiefs.
MFL secretary Nigel Wood said: “We review the decision on December 16 once the government has reviewed their tier levels.
“If fixtures do resume on December 19, clubs can agree to switch their Boxing Day fixtures to December 28, 29 or 30 to allow everyone to take advantage of the relaxation in the rules regarding families coming together this Christmas.”