Confronting scenes at Euro 2020 despite major Covid warnings

·Sports Reporter
·5-min read
A fan is told to sit down at Trafalgar Square (pictured left) after England defeated Ukraine and (pictured right) fans packed together celebrating Kieran Trippier at the Euros.
There was jubilant scenes in Trafalgar Square (pictured left) after England defeated Ukraine at Euro 2020, but fans the WHO are concerned about rising Covid-19 numbers due to the event. (Getty Images)

England fans partied hard into the night after the nation produced one of their greatest Euro 2020 performances to defeat Ukraine, but the scenes sparked concers after the latest health warnings regarding Covid-19.

Two goals from Harry Kane helped spur a remarkable performance as England thrashed Ukraine 4-0 to set up a clash with the inspired Denmark team in the Euro 2020 semi-final.

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It was the only match that England had to play away from Wembley Stadium and it was the team's most dominant performance of the tournament.

Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson also scored as England kept a clean sheet for the fifth straight match.

Just like scenes after England defeated Germany in Round of 16 at Wembley, fans gathered in bars, pubs and outdoor areas in scenes reminiscent of times before the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, it all seemed to contradict the latest World Health Organisation's (WHO) plea for fans to show restraint during the pandemic.

On Friday, WHO said the European Championship have driven the current rise in coronavirus infections on the continent.

A 10-week decline in Covid-19 cases across the region has come to an end.

Following Scotland's match in the group stages, 1,300 travelling fans were linked to Covid-19 from the match.

Thousands of Ukrainian football fans, pictured here cheering at the Fan Zone in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine.
Thousands of Ukrainian football fans cheer at the Fan Zone in downtown Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

This prompted further fears of growing numbers due to the Delta variant in the semi-final held in England and Russia.

"I am not here to pour cold water on any EURO 2020 fan or anyone’s holidays," WHO Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge said in a statement.

"But before we watch our players, and before we all pack and go for some well-deserved rest near home or far away, it is my imperative to give [some] messages.

"If you decide to travel and gather, assess the risks and do it safely, keeping all life-saving reflexes of masks and self-protection especially indoors and in crowds."

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England fans party after Euro 2020 win

England's Public Health Medical Director, Yvonne Doyle, urged fans to watch the quarter-final match outdoors after scenes of supporters celebrating in pubs and bars were seen in the previous round.

A rise in Covid-19 cases around the country has sparked concern.

But, revellers were seen partying after their historic victory and appeared to contradict social-distancing restrictions.

At Trafalgar Square, London, fans went ballistic singing and dancing in celebration.

Organisers were even reported to have told patrons to return to their pens to comply with social-distancing.

But the announcement was drowned out.

Covid-19 regulations are forgotten as England fans stand on their tables to celebrate as they watch the euro 2020 quarter final match between England and Ukraine from inside the Fan Zone set up to adhere to Covid-19 regulations in Trafalgar Square.
Covid-19 regulations are forgotten as England fans stand on their tables to celebrate as they watch the euro 2020 quarter final match between England and Ukraine from inside the Fan Zone set up to adhere to Covid-19 regulations in Trafalgar Square. (Getty Images)

An announcement of 'Get back in your pens' was ignored as fans celebrated in Manchester's socially outdoor fan park, according to Sky News.

There are concerns over the Delta variant and the number of people gathering around Europe during the Euros.

With vaccination progressing fast across the continent and people eagerly anticipating the holiday season, it is tempting to view large crowds at Euro 2020 matches as a sign of life returning to normal.

But there are particular concerns about upcoming games in London and Saint Petersburg - two cities particularly affected by the Delta variant.

"If we want to spread the Delta variant around Europe then this is the way to do it," epidemiologist Antoine Flahault told AFP.

with AFP

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