Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England’s medical director, said Three Lions supporters should watch the much-anticipated game outdoors rather than indoors as fans who would have travelled to Rome will have to stay in Britain due to travel restrictions.
Pointing to rising case rates, she said: ‘Many of us will be joining friends and family to watch England in the Euros on Saturday night. But please follow the guidelines in place to reduce the risk and enjoy the match safely: watching the game outside will always be safer than gathering indoors.’
The latest weekly surveillance report from Public Health England found that cases in all regions of England are still rising with rates nearing those seen at the peak of the second wave of the virus. In eastern England, which has the lowest rate, the number has increased from 47.7 to 87.8.
A total of 346.4 cases per 100,000 people were recorded for north-east England in the seven days to June 27 – up week on week from 175.3 – and is the highest rate for the region since the seven days to January 10. Rates peaked in the North East at 452.9 in the week to January 3.
Britons living in countries including Malta, France and Germany managed to get tickets to fill up the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday with fellow supporters in the UK forced to miss the game because they would need to self-isolate for five days.
Meanwhile, expats living in Dubai were also able to get seats at the stadium after taking advantage of a bilateral travel corridor that opened between United Arab Emirates and Italy earlier this month.
The England fans living in Europe were able to buy their tickets on social media from Brits living in the UK who will have to watch the game from their home or beer gardens.
Under Italy’s coronavirus rules, arrivals from the EU or countries such as Dubai can enter freely if they have either been fully vaccinated, recovered from the virus or presented a negative test less than 48 hours old. But for visitors from Britain, they are subject to a five-day quarantine after presentation of a negative test. A second test is required after quarantine.
As the quarter-final in Rome takes place on Saturday, fans have no time to quarantine for the required five days and still be able to attend the game – even if they do test negative.
LONDON: Hundreds of elated football fans wave England flags in Piccadilly Circus following England’s victory
Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England’s medical director, said Three Lions supporters should watch the much-anticipated game outdoors rather than indoors as fans who would have travelled to Rome will have to stay in Britain due to travel restrictions
Harry Kane of England celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Round of 16 match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium
The latest weekly surveillance report from Public Health England found that north-east England has overtaken the North West to become the region of England recording the highest rate of cases, with figures nearing those seen at the peak of the second wave of the virus
Britons living in countries including Malta, France and Germany managed to get tickets to fill up the Stadio Olimpico (pictured) on Saturday with fellow supporters in the UK forced to miss the game because they would need to self-isolate for five days
England’s expats living in Europe have snapped up tickets to the Three Lion’s crunch Euro 2020 match with Ukraine in Rome as quarantine rules means fans in the UK are banned from travelling. Pictured: England fans in Wembley stadium as they celebrate their win against Germany on June 29
David McAdam, a tech worker who lives in Malta, said he managed to buy two tickets from an England fan living in the UK on Twitter ‘within five minutes’.
‘I decided to try and go this morning,’ McAdam told the Telegraph. ‘I can’t think of a better way to spend my weekend.’
Another lucky England fan has said he will be attending the match on Saturday in Rome without fear of quarantine as he will be travelling from Germany.
Luke Curner, who lives in Helmstedt but is originally from Folkestone, Kent, bought the tickets in 2019 as the match fell on his birthday weekend – which it still does despite rescheduling.
‘I’m excited to be seeing England in a major championship but at the same time I’m sad that it won’t have the same atmosphere due to the lack of English supporters being allowed to travel,’ the 36-year-old German language student said.
‘I’m very lucky to be in an EU country allowing me to travel with few restrictions. It was great watching the game in Germany, although my whole neighbourhood knows I must be English and my wife hates me for waking our children up when England scored – luckily I am taking her to Rome for the match so she can’t hate me for too long.’
Mary Handley, who is originally from Halifax but has lived in Italy for around 40 years, said there was now ‘quite an army’ who would show up to cheer on England.
‘There’s a big network of English residents in Italy and you can travel (within Italy) pretty easily,’ she said.
‘I think the expats will respond to this, especially as the expat community tends to be, how can I put this, in the older bracket, so we probably all have our Italian vaccinations and we can get into the stadium without jumping through any more hoops.
Handley said the reported estimate of the 30,000 British expats in Italy ‘seems pretty low’ and added: ‘I do think there’s quite an army out there that might show up.’
LONDON: Fans were seen celebrating in Leicester Square after England’s win. People clutched flags and wore jerseys as they cheered
However, for many England fans living in the UK, they have been left disappointed by Italy’s Covid rules
Vadym Prystaiko said supporters will fly into Italy for the match on Saturday because they are a ‘green zone’ travel country due to a lack of Covid cases there
In reference to his side’s game against Sweden in Scotland on June 29, he said: ‘I was actually surprised yesterday how many of us were here at the Glasgow stadium’
Can England fans travel to Rome for Euro 2020 quarter-final?
England’s 2-0 victory over Germany booked them a slot in the Euro 2020 quarter finals in Rome – but don’t go booking yourself a city break just yet.
Italy’s Covid-19 restrictions mean that most England fans will struggle to get to the showdown with Ukraine.
Here is what you need to know before jumping on a plane.
– I just want to be in Rome, can I book a flight?
Before you splash the cash, bear in mind you have to have proof of a negative coronavirus test taken in the 48 hours before you travel.
Upon arrival, UK passengers must fill in one the of the European Union’s passenger locator forms, before hunkering down for five days of isolation.
Even if you touch down first thing on Wednesday, the earliest you will be out is Sunday – subject to a second Covid-19 test – meaning you will probably be watching the game from a hotel room.
– Are there any exceptions?
The only way you are likely to avoid the isolation requirement is if you are a member of transport crew, or can prove that you are in Italy for ‘work, health or emergency’.
If you fall into any of those categories, you can enter Italy but must leave within five days.
Passengers transiting through the country are also exempt, as long as they have left Italy within 36 hours, as are EU officials, diplomats and international students returning to study.
– If things had been different, would the German fans have had the same trouble?
No. Germany is participating in the EU digital Covid-19 certificate scheme.
The scheme proves that the carrier has been vaccinated against the virus, or that they have returned a negative test in the 48 hours before travel.
As long as the traveller then fills out the EU passenger locator form, they would be free to enter Italy without five days of quarantine.
– What if I decide to flout the rules?
Breaking the rules could be pricey; anyone caught trying to end their five day quarantine period without proof of a negative test risks a 450 euros fine (£386), the Times reported.
Those who skip quarantine all together could face a much tougher penalty – last year, Italy introduced fines of 3,000 euros (£2,580) for anyone who even tried to travel between regions, let alone cross its borders.
– If I can get myself there, where can I get a ticket?
That could be tricky. The FA has said it will not be selling tickets for the match to the England Supporters Travel Club (ESTC) – the official body of away support – due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Instead it is hoping to get as many as tickets to England expats in Italy to make sure the team isn’t playing in front of silent stands on Saturday, the Guardian reported.
The statement said: ‘Unfortunately, the FA will not be selling any tickets via the ESTC for this fixture given the travel restrictions in place across both countries, and as such are working with Uefa and the British embassy in Italy to facilitate as many ticket sales to English residents in Italy as possible.’
– What do I have to do on my way home?
Fans who overcome all obstacles to get themselves to Rome by Saturday will still have to self-isolate for 10 days upon return, as Italy is on the UK’s amber list.
Returning travellers will have to book a Covid-19 test for day two and day eight of their quarantine before flying.
Passengers can also use the ‘test to release’ scheme where they pay for a private Covid-19 swab on day five of their quarantine – if the results on both day two and day five are negative, you can end your quarantine.
The Government website says people should not travel to amber list countries or territories.
There was a mad rush for tickets from expats this week. The British Embassy in Rome even released a statement saying it was not selling tickets for the quarter-final game after being swamped by calls from British expats living in Italy.
However, for many England fans living in the UK, they have been left disappointed by Italy’s Covid rules.
And in a further blow to England fans hoping to get around the system somehow, the Italian Embassy in London said on Thursday said that fans travelling from the UK will not be allowed to enter the stadium, even if they have a ticket.
Warrick Howard, from Leicestershire, purchased tickets through the ballot system in 2019 for 140 euros each, but his plans for the match have been curtailed by Italy’s five-day quarantine requirement for UK arrivals.
‘Given the huge push to have everyone vaccinated there were ways of making this work for fans attending this tournament, but Uefa and the EU have made no effort to do so,’ the 37-year-old said.
‘I guess they were too busy organising thousands of ‘no quarantine required’ exemptions for their couple of thousand VIPs. I thought about flying out to Italy on Sunday June 27 and doing my five-day quarantine in an AirBnB apartment so I’d be free for the game if England did make it through… but that would have required a week off work.’
On Wednesday, a source told The Telegraph that the British Embassy in Italy would promote the sale on its social media channels.
The Football Association (FA) had originally been given 2,560 tickets for the match, which will mean those cheering for England in attendance will make just 16 per cent of the agreed 16,000 capacity at the Stadio Olimpico in the Italian capital.
But on Wednesday, the FA handed back those tickets to UEFA who agreed to sell them to British fans who do not live in the UK.
Downing Street has also urged fans not to travel to Rome for England’s Euro 2020 quarter-final tie with Ukraine on Saturday as Italy is on the amber list, which means anyone who has travelled to the country has to self-isolate for 10 days on their return to Britain.
And travel experts also warned fans against trying to take advantage of loopholes, including for business, because they risk watching the game from their hotel rooms and even missing the semi-final and final.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘People should not be travelling to amber list countries.
‘Obviously we appreciate how fans will want to do everything possible to support the England team but we do need to balance that against the need to protect public health.
‘We would urge everyone to comply with the guidelines and rules that we have in place.’
Commenting on the ticket chaos on Tuesday morning, as many expats rushed to buy tickets, the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK taunted England supporters who are banned from travelling to Italy for the huge match.
Vadym Prystaiko bragged his supporters could get into the country ‘easier’ and claimed there are ‘close to a million’ Ukrainians working and studying in Italy who could be piling into the Stadio Olympico in Rome.
‘We have so many Ukrainians to support them,’ he said. ‘We already have so many of them working and studying in Italy, the number I believe is close to a million people.’
Expats in Dubai have revealed their hopes of cheering on the national team from the stadium on Saturday.
One fan wrote on Twitter: ‘It’s okay, plenty of expats heading from Dubai since we can’t go home but can go to Italy!’ Another added: ‘Dubai-Rome-Dubai on Saturday is feeling very tempting.’
The UAE and Italy signed a bilateral travel corridor which opened at the start of this month, meaning passengers do not have to quarantine on arrival.
All flyers have to have a rapid Covid test two days before they leave and if they test negative can move into the country without hassle.
But if their result comes back positive then they have to isolate at a quarantine hotel in the country like other passengers.
It means Britons who live in the UAE or have been there for the past two weeks can fly into Rome and attend the game on Saturday if they test negative.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan urged people not to travel from the UK. She said: ‘The ask is to watch from home and to cheer on the team as loud as we can.
‘I think the challenge is can they hear us from Rome and I am sure we will take up that opportunity to be as supportive as we can of our amazing England team.’
Travel experts also warned against anyone trying to game the system and get to Rome from the UK for Saturday’s match.
And in a blow for any Britons tempted to try loopholes, it was reported on Wednesday that the Italian authorities were tightening up their borders.
La Repubblica said officials were working to ‘intensify’ restrictions on motorways going into the country to stop England fans from sneaking in.
The newspaper said the Interior Ministry in Italy was working on strengthening controls at airports, stations and roads to thwart any rulebreakers – as well as handing any offenders a €450 (£386) fine.
The Italian Embassy in London also said on Thursday that fans travelling from the UK to Italy for the match on Saturday will not be allowed to enter the stadium, even if they have a ticket.
‘Anybody who has been in the UK in the previous 14 days, irrespective of their nationality or residency, will not be admitted to the stadium, even if they have a ticket,’ a statement read.
‘Only those who can prove that they have arrived in Italy at least six days previously, have observed five days of quarantine, and have taken a post-quarantine COVID-19 test with a negative result will be allowed into the Stadio Olimpico.
‘Fans based in the UK should therefore not travel to Italy to attend the match on Saturday at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.’
‘It must be remembered that, in order to fight against the delta variant, there is a five-day quarantine rule in place for everyone coming from Great Britain, and this must be respected,’ warned Alessio D’Amato, health councillor for Lazio region.
Head of The Points Guy UK Nicky Kelvin told MailOnline: ‘For those looking to head to Rome for England’s match against Ukraine this Saturday, it won’t be as easy as jumping on the next flight.
‘Italy currently requires all UK arrivals to take a test within 48 hours of departure and then isolate for five days and fill out an online digital form.
‘You must test again at the end of the five days to release from quarantine. The quarantine will be ten days if a negative test can’t be provided on arrival.
‘So, even if you board your flight today, you will still have to isolate until Monday – meaning you’ll be watching the game from your hotel room.
‘It’s also important to note Italy is currently on the amber list – meaning that although it isn’t against the law, the UK government discourages travel to and from such destinations.
‘Upon your return in the UK you will need a test before flying, tests booked and paid for on day 2 and day 8, complete a passenger locator form and isolate at home for 10 days.
‘There is the opportunity to use the ‘test to release’ scheme on day five of your quarantine for an extra cost.
‘If Italy is added to the red list, which looks unlikely, you could even have to undergo a hotel quarantine for 10 days at a price of £1750 per person.
‘With the need to quarantine both on arrival and return, you’re much better off watching the match on home.
‘If you’ve got your heart set on heading to Rome – you could even lose your chance of watching England in the semi-final (or even the final) if they win this weekend back at Wembley in July.’
England crushed Germany 2-0 at his first international football match – as an estimated 25 million fans tuned in to watch the Three Lions storm to a glorious victory (the team, celebrating) on the pitch
England football fans celebrate the opening goal in the England vs Germany game at the Luna Springs in Digbeth, Birmingham. The England fans will have to continue watching from a beer garden for the match on Saturday against Ukraine in Rome
Paul Charles from the PC Agency added: ‘If you’ve been in UK in last 14 days you can’t enter Italy unless special exemption applied – e.g. journalist/Gary Lineker! But then you would have to quarantine in the UK on your return from Italy.
‘So if in France for the last 15 days you can go into Italy. Can UEFA not get special exemption from Italian government for England fans in the same way they have got exemption for entering UK for sponsors?’
Despite the woe for England fans, the Ukrainians appeared jubilant at the Italy destination as the country’s ambassador to the UK claimed on Wednesday they can get there in time for Saturday.
Mr Prystaiko told the BBC: ‘Sorry to say but our people will find it easier travelling in. We are in the green zone for Europeans and we have so many Ukrainians to support them.’
In reference to his side’s game against Sweden in Scotland on Tuesday night, he said: ‘I was actually surprised yesterday how many of us were here at the Glasgow stadium.
‘We already have so many of them working and studying in Italy, numbers I believe is close to a million people. I don’t believe all of them will come to Rome, but we will have significant numbers to support our football team.’