THE key to lifting the Premier League’s football lockdown for fans could be found in a Hong Kong exhibition centre.
Because the AsiaWorld-Expo centre is gearing up to host events using sanitising pods people will have to walk through before entering.
And the coronavirus-busting technology is already being discussed in some football circles as a way to support the gradual return of crowds to grounds.
The ‘CLEANTech’ pods are a three- in-one disinfection machine.
Fans would first stand in front of a screen, much like at passport control, and get their temperature checked.
If it is too high, suggesting a viral infection, you cannot go any further.
But if the person is OK, the pod opens and you then enter what is called the ‘Sanitising Tunnel’.
This is where a combination of UV light and an air-sanitising and purification spray are used to kill off any other germs lingering on clothes or belongings.
The process in the ‘Tunnel’ takes just 12 seconds.
The centre’s next scheduled event is an Avril Lavigne concert on May 24 which will have a capacity of 16,000.
Of course, the challenges clubs would face in using such hi-tech equipment at grounds would be huge.
But it could prove to be a giant first step towards letting supporters back into stadiums.
Sports chiefs are this week meeting with Government and health officials about plans to bring back live action.
Premier League clubs are to be updated on Friday about the options available when the lockdown is eased.
The French and Dutch leagues have already abandoned their campaigns.
But English top-flight chiefs are determined to finish, with a return to action behind closed doors on June 8.
Clubs have either nine or ten Premier League games to play.