Boris Johnson hits out at UEFA threat to pull Wembley Euro 2020 final ‘We’ll keep UK safe’
“Sensible accommodations” can be made with UEFA over whether VIPs and foreign fans will get access to England for key Euro 2020 matches, says Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He confirmed discussions with European football’s governing body were being held over the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final, which are due to be held at London’s Wembley Stadium.
Under current UK guidelines, travellers arriving from ‘amber’ and ‘red-list’ countries must quarantine upon arrival for 10 days. The semi-finals of Euro 2020 will be on July 6 and 7, and the finals on July 11.
Asked if the government would allow quarantine exemptions for UEFA VIPs and fans, Johnson said: “We’ll do what we have to do to keep the country safe from COVID, that’s obviously going to be our priority.
“We’ll be talking to UEFA about what they want and see if we can make some sensible accommodations.
“But the priority obviously has to be public health.”
Ministers are tabling plans to allow around 2,500 UEFA and FIFA VIPs to skip the quarantine period in order to attend matches at Wembley stadium.
They would also be allowed to attend meetings and training sessions with the UK government.
It is understood ministers are fearful UEFA could move the semi-finals and finals of the Euro 2020 tournament to Hungary if they do not ease restrictions.
Hungary will have no restrictions for travel within the Schengen zone from next week and have hosted games with full stadiums so far at Euro 2020.
With the exception of England, Wales and Scotland, every national team competing at the tournament – apart from Turkey, who are on the ‘red list – is on the ‘amber list’.
According to The Times, cabinet ministers are aware any exemption for UEFA and FIFA could cause controversy as millions of Britons are unable to skip the restrictions.
Government officials are also concerned over the risk of a cluster of Covid cases, or the risk of infecting officials as Delta variant cases spike.
However, Boris Johnson is said to be drawn to the idea as the UK could boost joint Home Nations bidding efforts for the 2030 World Cup.
Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA president, also told the Government last week that Britain’s border restrictions were too strict compared with those in the EU.
He warned other European cities were willing and able to host matches scheduled to be played at Wembley.
On Thursday, another 195,565 first doses and 234,834 second doses of coronavirus vaccine were administered.
So far the UK has given out 42,216,654 first doses and 30,675,207 second doses, equalling 80.1 per cent and 58.2 per cent of the population respectively.
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