Johnson asks people to behave responsibly ahead of Euro 2020 finals

·3-min read

Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged football fans and businesses to act “in a responsible way” as large crowds are expected to gather in England for the closing matches of Euro 2020.

More than 60,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley for the two semi-finals and the final next Sunday and Mr Johnson was asked at a Downing Street press conference whether he was concerned it could cause a spike in transmission of coronavirus.

Mr Johnson said: “I think my advice to everybody would obviously be to support England enthusiastically but in a responsible way.

“The events at Wembley clearly have particular conditions attached to them with particular testing requirements that we will insist on.”

England manager Gareth Southgate applauds the fans after the Euro 2020 Quarter Final match at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome
England manager Gareth Southgate applauds the fans after the Euro 2020 Quarter Final match at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome (Nick Potts/PA)

The remaining knockout matches are set to take place at London’s Wembley Stadium ahead of the July 19 easing of lockdown restrictions in England.

Expectations are high for England after Gareth Southgate’s squad topped their Euro 2020 group, beat old foes Germany in the round of 16 and then pulled out a thumping 4-0 quarter-final win against Ukraine in Rome on Saturday.

England face Denmark in the semi-finals on Wednesday night. Italy will kick off against Spain in the in the semi-finals on Tuesday and both matches are being held at Wembley Stadium.

During a visit to London last week German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke of her “grave concern” over the number of football fans being allowed to attend Euro 2020 matches at Wembley.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, during a press conference after their meeting at Chequers
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, during a press conference after their meeting at Chequers (Jonathan Buckmaster/PA)

Speaking at a joint news conference with Mr Johnson, she wished the England football team “the best of luck” following their historic victory over Germany at Wembley but said she had questioned the Prime minister over the high attendance.

Mr Johnson was previously forced to defend his approach to attendance during the tournament, saying sporting events are being opened up in a “very careful and controlled manner”.

It came as official data showed that almost 2,000 people living in Scotland attended at least one Euro 2020 event while infectious with coronavirus.

Scotland fans on Wembley Way
Scotland fans on Wembley Way (Nick Potts/PA)

Figures from Public Health Scotland (PHS) showed 1,991 residents who later had a laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis were in their transmission period while at competition gatherings between June 11 and 28.

This included 397 people who attended Scotland’s clash with England at Wembley on June 18.

There were 1,294 people – reported travelling to London for a Euro 2020-related event. The figures show nearly three-quarters – or 1,470 cases – with a Euro 2020 tag are people aged 20 to 39, and nine in 10 are men.

The report said: “PHS is working with Test and Protect and NHS boards to ensure that all public health actions are taken in the close contacts of these Euro 2020 cases as part of the 32,539 cases that were reported to the Test and Protect case management system during this period.”

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