Football VIPs to swerve travel restrictions at Euro 2020 finals

LONDON — Attendees of the Euro 2020 semifinals and final in the U.K. will be exempt from rules on self-isolation and hotel quarantine after changes were made to domestic legislation.

Britons returning from countries on the “amber list,” from which the majority of the football VIPs will be coming, currently have to isolate at home for 10 days and pay for at least two PCR tests.

But these restrictions will not apply to thousands of UEFA officials, sponsors and politicians, who are expected to arrive in London next month for the crucial last games of the tournament at Wembley Stadium.

Ministers amended the relevant travel regulations on Tuesday without a debate or vote in parliament.

The prime minister’s spokesman would not confirm exactly how many invitees will attend. “Discussions are ongoing with UEFA and Public Health England on the final detail of this,” he said. “We wouldn’t do anything that compromises the safety of the public.”

“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 [at] designated hotels, use of designated private transport and compliance with all other COVID restrictions including social distancing, face coverings and test, trace and isolation,” the spokesman added.

The government is facing a backlash about the move, at a time when holidays are effectively banned for all but a small list of “green countries.”

Conservative MP Steve Baker said: “No one should be allowed or enabled to circumvent laws which suppress the rights of others, however necessary restrictions may or may not be.” David Davis, a former Cabinet minister, called the decision “morally inconsistent.”

Culture Minister John Whittingdale told Sky News: “They [Euro 2020 visitors] are not just able to come in and travel round Britain. They come to attend a match and go home again.”

Sixty-thousand fans will be allowed to attend the finals, 75 percent of Wembley’s capacity, the government confirmed this week.

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