For the first time in 266 days supporters of some clubs will be allowed to enter stadiums for EFL games on Wednesday evening.

With England's second national lockdown ending, the Government announced last week that teams based in Tier 1 will be allowed a maximum of 4,000 supporters through the door, with those in Tier 2 permitted 2,000.

Six sides will therefore play in front of a reduced home crowd tonight for the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis in a momentous occasion for English football.

Carlisle's game against Salford City will be the first, with the League Two fixture kicking off at 7pm at Brunton Park, although the match is capped at a 1,000 capacity as Carlisle have not held a previous pilot event.

A Carlisle fan collects their ticket ahead of tonight's match

At 7.45pm in the Championship Luton versus Norwich will also have 1,000 supporters present.

And at the same time in League One Wycombe v Stoke, Charlton v MK Dons and Shrewsbury v Accrington will take place in front of 2,000 fans, with Cambridge United v Mansfield the other fixture with a crowd in League Two.

Despite the good news, the return to grounds will be a very different experience to how supporters will remember it.

A Charlton Athletic fan shows his ticket

The Football League has issued a code of conduct for those lucky enough to attend games in the coming weeks.

The 18-point code includes a series of strict rules, such as:

A fan has his temperature checked
Symptom check questionnaires will be in force
Supporters are wearing protective masks ahead of the matches

Thursday will see Arsenal become the first Premier League side to play in front of fans again when 2,000 will be allowed in to watch their Europa League game against Rapid Vienna.

And this weekend Premier League games at West Ham, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool and Brighton will also have spectators.

Fans will also have to observe social distancing

There were hopes that supporters would have been allowed in earlier than this after Brighton successfully hosted a pre-season friendly against Chelsea in front of 2,500 people.

But as coronavirus rates significantly increased in the country during a second spike these plans had to be put back.

There are hopes that the number allowed in will gradually be able to increase until stadiums reach full capacity, and the breakthrough in a vaccine for the virus can only be positive news.

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