2,500 foreign football VIPs and media set to be EXEMPT from quarantine and allowed to travel to the Euro 2020 final at Wembley with Government ‘close to a deal with UEFA’ that would allow 60,000 fans in after threat to move the game to Budapest
A deal is on the brink of being struck that would see Wembley host 60,000 people for the Euro 2020 final on July 11.
That’s according to The Telegraph, who say the government could agree terms with UEFA and make an announcement as promptly as Tuesday.
There will be around 2,500 foreign VIPS and media allowed into England for the showpiece event.
The Euro 2020 final at Wembley could go ahead with up to 60,000 people in attendance
The Puskas Arena in Budapest, Hungary has already gone ahead with hosting two games at a full capacity of 60,000 people in attendance
There have been concerns that UEFA could dramatically move the two semi-finals and final to Budapest, which has hosted two games of the European Championship in front of a full, 60,000 capacity at the Puskas Arena.
Its president Aleksander Ceferin told the Government last week the UK’s border restrictions were too strict compared with those in the EU and that other cities were willing and able to host matches due to be played at Wembley.
But in a move likely to spark a fierce backlash among the British public, the VIPs attending the games at Wembley Stadium would not have to abide by travel quarantine rules imposed on ordinary travellers.
Primer Minister Boris Johnson admitted today that the Government would speak to Uefa and ‘see if we can make some sensible accommodations, but the priority obviously has to be public health’.
SNP MP Alyn Smith said the move was ‘deeply, deeply irresponsible’ and Tory Andrew Bridgen added: ‘When lockdown has been extended in the UK it’s a kick in the teeth to read that up to 2500 ‘VIPs’ may be allowed into the UK for the #EURO2020 final without quarantine restrictions. Especially when double vaccinated Brits can’t go on holiday!’
Labour’s shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said: ‘Tens of thousands of fans have tickets for games at Wembley, which has been ear-marked to host these games for years.
‘Businesses, supply chains and workers have all been preparing for them. To suddenly change at the last minute because a few UEFA bigwigs are worried about having to quarantine would be outrageous.
‘UEFA should remember that it was the passion of fans in this country that saw off the threat of the European Super League – to repay the favour by removing games from Wembley would be a disgraceful betrayal. Football should be for the people – not the comfort of a few officials.’
However a top epidemiologist today said that such an exemption would not be that big a deal.
Sage member Professor John Edmunds told Times Radio: ‘The rates of cases in Europe are generally lower than they are here in the UK. And in particular, if we look at the things that we’re really nervous about, which would be the Delta variant, and then the rates are much, much lower than they are here. So you know, overall … I don’t think it’s really going to be the major problem for us.
‘I don’t think it’s going to change the course of the epidemic in the UK.’
With the exception of England, Wales and Scotland, every national team competing at Euro 2020 apart from red-listed Turkey is on the amber list.
Up to 10 days’ self-isolation is needed for those returning from amber and red destinations. If approved by the Cabinet’s Covid-O committee and passed by Parliament, the changes could result in a small number of red-list travellers avoiding quarantine.