NEWPORT County and Swansea City have been given the green light to welcome back fans for this month’s EFL play-offs.

League Two Newport host Forest Green Rovers in the first leg of their semi-final next Tuesday, while Championship side Swansea entertain Barnsley in the second leg of their tie four days later.

The fixtures have been selected by the Welsh Government as pilot events to test the safe return of supporters to stadiums in Wales for the first time since Covid-19 restrictions began in March 2020.

County have around 1,100 season ticket holders, but it's unlikely that the figure allowed into Rodney Parade, which has a capacity of 8,500, will hit that level due to social distancing rules.

That would mean a ballot for fans who want to watch their first game of the season after previously watching on iFollow.

“The club has been working towards this possibility in recent weeks and will continue our dialogue with the relevant stakeholders as we prepare for the safe return of supporters to Rodney Parade,” read a club statement.

“We would like to thank supporters for their continued patience and will endeavour to communicate the relevant arrangements with supporters in due course once they have been confirmed.”

County did play in front of fans in their loss to Leyton Orient in December but have gone the whole campaign without home backing.

Nine pilot events have been confirmed, including Wales' football friendly with Albania at Cardiff City Stadium on June 5.

The game, Wales’ last before they head off to the Euros, is set to welcome 4,000 supporters.


Meanwhile, up to 1,000 fans will be able to attend the four-day County Championship fixture between Glamorgan and Lancashire at Sophia Gardens that starts on June 3.

The Wales Triathlon in Fishguard on June 11-12 will also be open to registered participants.

First minister Mark Drakeford, said: "It's been a long and difficult 18 months for the events industry in Wales – for event owners, those who depend on the sector for the work – and for those who long to see the return of live events to Wales.

"As we look at lifting the coronavirus restrictions in Wales we have worked closely with event organisers to establish a list of pilot test events which take in a range of different locations and types of event.

Mr Drakeford thanked local authorities and health boards for their involvement in the planning the pilot program.

"These events are very different in nature and location but access of attendees – whether participants or spectators – is strictly controlled by the organisers and agreed in advance."

Wrexham AFC say they are not expecting to be able to have fans back this season, despite the National League planning for the return of supporters for clubs in England from Monday.