Uefa has reportedly threatened to move the Euro 2020 final from England’s Wembley Stadium to Budapest if the UK government does not relax travel rules for the Covid-19 coronavirus for thousands of VIPs
Ministers will now discuss proposals to exempt Uefa and Fifa officials, politicians, sponsors and broadcasters from self-isolation upon arrival in the UK. reports the Times.
Around 2,500 VIPs attending Wembley games would not have to follow the quarantine rules for standard travelers.
The times says they are “allowed to participate in games, training sessions and meetings with the UK government during the knockout phase of the tournament”.
Cabinet ministers are believed to accept the move could upset millions of Britons unable to vacation abroad – but fear that the semifinals and finals will be postponed if they don’t grant the exemption.
Hungary won’t have border restrictions on travel within the Schengen zone from next week – and can accommodate ladies with full stadiums.
Yesterday, UEFA said it had not given up hope that the UK government would make Covid quarantine concessions for overseas fans in the final stages of Euro 2020.
Tournament Director Martin Kallen said: “We saw some signs that there might be a possibility.”
The government has announced that the last four Euro 2020 games will be played in front of at least 40,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium after being added to their expanded event research program, which allows for crowd sizes above the usual 10,000 ceiling.
However, there has been no sign of willingness to relax quarantine rules, which means that a supporter hailing from a yellow list country tests negative before leaving, in isolation for 10 days after arriving in the UK and must be provided two negative tests at this time before viewing a game.
The possibility of an easing appears even less likely against the background of rising infection rates from the delta variant of the coronavirus, which have led the government to postpone the final easing until July 19 – after the euro has expired.
But Kallen made a positive balance at a UEFA briefing on Thursday.
“We are in discussion for the knockout rounds, especially the semifinals and finals, on this question in order to have foreign viewers as well,” he said.
“We talk to the authorities every day and hope to come to a good deal with the British government.”
When asked whether it would be realistic for the government to make concessions, Kallen added, “I hope so. It’s too early to say right now, but we’ve seen some signs that there might be a possibility.
“But it is still too early for a clear answer, we still have some time.”
Kallen told the PA news agency on June 4 that he hoped an agreement could be reached on foreign viewers.
At the time, a government spokesperson said: “Overseas ticket holders can watch Euro 2020 matches at Wembley, but are subject to travel restrictions and requirements, including testing and quarantine, in England and their home locations. There are no plans to change the travel exemptions for ticket holders.
“We continue to work very closely with the FA and UEFA to support a fantastic European Championship and to provide the fans with the latest travel advice. We will keep an eye on this as the tournament progresses. “
He accepted the surge in infections so it was unlikely that capacity for any of the games at Wembley – including the finals – would go beyond 50 percent.