Quarantine exemption for Euro 2020 dignitaries is close to being agreed after the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the “final detail” of the plan was being discussed.
UEFA is understood be seeking exemption from the standard coronavirus rules which apply to UK arrivals for around 2,500 individuals, including VIPs from its own organisation and world football’s governing body FIFA, executives working for tournament sponsors and broadcasters.
It is looking for the exemptions to be in place for the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 next month, with all three of those matches taking place at Wembley. The usual rules require visitors from amber list countries to quarantine for 10 days, unless they take part in the ‘test to release’ scheme after five days.
UEFA sources last week refused to rule out moving the matches away from Wembley if no agreement could be reached over the VIPs or overseas fans, with Budapest understood to be the first option in the event of a switch.
However, a deal now appears close following discussions between UEFA, the Government and Public Health England (PHE), with the PM’s spokesman adding: “Those who are eligible to come will be subject to a strict code of conduct and you can expect that to include daily testing, staying in designated hotels, use of designated private transport and compliance with all other Covid restrictions, including social distancing, face coverings, and test, trace and isolation.”
Asked if they would face fines if these rules were breached, he said: “We’re updating on that… any breaches of restrictions would result in fixed penalty notice fines.”
Downing Street did not rule out overseas fans also being able to attend Euros matches without having to follow quarantine rules. UEFA last week said it was discussing the possibility of supporters flying in and out of the UK within 24 hours in an arrangement similar to the one put in place for English supporters on official trips travelling to Porto for last month’s Champions League final.
Asked about the prospect, the PM’s spokesperson said: “The rules for inbound travel are set out. Following the discussions with UEFA and PHE, we will set out the full detail.”
To attend a Euro 2020 match or event, such as a training session.
To attend a meeting with the UK Government or the English FA.
To meet with ministers or attend a controlled event at Downing Street.
An amendment has been made to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021, adding a modification to the requirement to self-isolate for Euro 2020 invitees.
This would allow any invited dignitary to attend an official Euro 2020 event or training, a meeting with the UK Government or English Football Association, a meeting with Government ministers or a controlled event at 10, Downing Street.
“All those subject to this exemption will need to comply with strict protocols to limit contact with the local population, between attendees and to reduce the risk of transmission between groups,” an explanatory memorandum supporting the amendment read.
“This will include daily testing, private transport and limiting their stay in the UK. Heads of delegation will need to provide assurance of compliance to the FA, and individuals will be required to sign a code of conduct.”
The Government announced on Tuesday that Wembley could go up to 75 per cent capacity for the semi-finals and final, meaning more than 60,000 people could attend each of those matches.