Cricket fans in India will finally be able to attend live matches in stadium with Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) laying down conditions for the second Test against England. The first Test between India and England, also played at the M Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, was played in front of empty stands with no spectators allowed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fans will have to wear masks, maintain social distancing and anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms will be barred from entering the premises. “Conditions to be adhered by the spectators during the 2nd Test Match at MAC Stadium. Face mask, covering mouth and nose, is mandatory for entry into the stadium and maintain social distancing within the stadium premises at all times,” TNCA said in a media release.

“Persons showing any symptoms of COVID 19 like Fever, Cough, Cold etc will be denied entry into the stadium,” it added.

Additionally, fans have been warned against indulging in racist behaviour with strict action planned against anyone flouting the rules. “Spectators are cautioned not to indulge or display anti-racist, religious or political activities, foul / abusive / unruly language inside the stadium, that could disturb the game and such persons will be dealt with in accordance to law.”

The instructions have come after India cricketers complained of hearing racist slurs during the Australia tour with an investigation done by Cricket Australia confirming the same. “Strict disciplinary action will be initiated by authorities against all persons violating covid & security protocols,” the release added.

Several items have been prohibited including “bags, jholas, brief cases, radios, laser pointers, digital diaries, laptops, computers, tape recorders, recording devices, binoculars, remote controlled devices, inflammable material, musical instruments, speakers, professional/video cameras among others.”

The media, which was barred entry for the series opening Test, will also be allowed to cover the second fixture.

For the first time since 2012, the three stands – I, J and K – will be opened for spectators for an international match.

They were sealed after the 2011 World Cup due to various issues meaning Chennai lost the opportunity to host matches during various events including the World T20 in 2016 and the IPL final in 2019. However, the stands were opened for an ODI between India and Pakistan in 2012 as an exception.