IT has been the strangest of times for all of us.

Temperatures taken on arrival, hand sanitisers a common sight, people with face masks everywhere, the voices of players and coaching staff echoing around the arena.

Aside from an all too brief hiatus earlier in the season when fans were allowed back, these things have all become the norm at stadiums up and down the country over the last few months, with Colchester United's JobServe Community Stadium no exception.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Like it or not, football people have had to grow accustomed to the 'new normal' that the Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to accept.

Different coloured zones in place to remind people where they need to go - and where they should not be - tape sectioning off areas of stadiums that are out of bounds, one-way walking systems around the ground, players entering the fray from different areas of the ground, with the tunnel out of bounds.

This is football - but not as we know it.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Sadly, the only reminder of the fans at the moment at grounds is the cut-outs that occupy the empty stands.

The public address system still blares out; the teams announced pre-match as usual.

But this is far from normal; at times, it remains an eerie, sterile atmosphere.

In these strange times, the Gazette takes a photographic look at the U's behind closed doors.