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'Sensible accommodations' could be made to keep Euro 2020 semis and final in UK, PM says
18 June 2021, 13:35 | Updated: 18 June 2021, 14:52
"Sensible accommodations" could be made to allow thousands of fans into the UK for the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final, Boris Johnson has said.
Wembley Stadium in London is set to host several international matches in June and July, including the final on 11 July.
But UEFA sources have refused to rule out moving them away from Wembley if overseas fans and VIPs cannot be exempted from strict quarantine rules.
When asked about the plans at Kirklees College in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, the Prime Minister said: "We'll do what we have to do to keep the country safe from Covid - that's obviously going to be our priority, and 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."
It echoes London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who told LBC on Friday he thinks the Euro finals should be allowed to go ahead at Wembley after a possible threat by UEFA to move the games to Budapest because of UK travel rules.
It is reported Budapest will be the first option if the games were switched but English football officials and ministers are keen to keep the the matches in the UK despite Covid challenges.
A UEFA statement on Friday said: "At the moment, we are in discussions with the local authorities to try to allow fans of the participating teams to attend the matches, using a strict testing and bubble concept that would mean their stay in the UK would be less than 24 hours and their movements would be restricted to approved transport and venues only," the statement read.
"We understand the pressures that the (British) Government face and hope to be able to reach a satisfactory conclusion of our discussions on the matter."
The games at Wembley will be part of the Government's Events Research Programme (ERP) which has been running since April and has been used to test various ways to get fans back into venues without the need for social distancing.
It comes amid concerns about thousands of Scotland fans who have headed to London ahead of the team's game against England on Friday night.
Around 20,000 ticketless Scots are understood to have travelled south, gathering at popular tourist destinations across the capital before watching the game in pubs and bars later tonight.
Concerns have been raised about a lack of Covid-19 secure fan zones, with fans likely to gather in large numbers in unofficial fan zones.