The British & Irish Lions have contacted fans who have already secured their tour packages with details on what they can do next regarding this summer’s tour of South Africa.
Demand for a place on the tour had been 180% above capacity according to a report last year, before the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic had become clear.
It was confirmed last month that South Africa will remain the host country for the tour, as originally planned, after months of contingency planning due to travel restrictions.
Backed by the RFU and WRU, the Lions board diverted from hosting the eight-match ‘tour’ here in the UK and Ireland to South Africa. With their partners at SA Rugby now in talks with the country’s government to determine crowd limits.
Fans sticking to their dream of travelling to South Africa this July and August will still have the chance to do so, subject to adjustments to their original ticket-inclusive package due to COVID-19 procedures.
Further to media reports in mid-March, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander will present plans to members of the South African government in a meeting next week to try to maximise the number of fans safely allowed at Lions tour venues, particularly in the Test fixtures to be held in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
“We have been heavily involved in the drafting, and we believe it makes a strong case for a safe and sustainable return of supporters,” Alexander said on Wednesday.
“Our government’s response is likely to be shaped by the progress of the (coronavirus) pandemic, but even if we have to play behind closed doors the tour will go ahead.”
Should the worst come to the worst for Lions fans, tour organisers have included other alternative options available to choose immediately.
In their message, the Lions say: “Our number one priority is to ensure that you can be part of the Lions in the way that works best for you and under the restrictions we all face – either for this Tour or in the future – so we have created four options for you to choose from.”
Those who have a package will be able to rollover the money they have already spent to the 2025 Lions tour of Australia, and given first priority on tickets for matches of their choice. Additionally, with this choice, Lions fans will gain access to the Lions @ Home Experience to watch and celebrate this summer’s tour against the Springboks.
The third option, the Gold priority access pass, is the top tier of Lions involvement at the 2025 tour of Australia where fans will be able to access all areas and put in the best possible place to enjoy festivities on matchday and away from venues. This choice will see any money on account currently with the Lions refunded until details of the tour against the Wallabies are determined.
Lastly, as communicated throughout tour planning by the Lions, fans will be able to attain a full refund on ticket-inclusive packages. They can do so while keeping their merchandise included in packages at a discounted price – or stick with the full refund.