The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it is concerned about the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by countries hosting Euro 2020, noting that some are already seeing an increase.
“The WHO is concerned about easing restrictions in some host countries,” Rob Butler, executive director of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, told AFP.
“The number of spectators allowed is now increasing from the few stadiums hosting the tournament,” Butler said.
The UN health agency did not single out any cities, but the United Kingdom announced on Tuesday that more than 60,000 spectators were allowed in the semi-finals of Wembley Stadium in London. Initially, it was intended to limit the crowd to 40,000, with a capacity of about 50 percent.
The new levels mean that the stadium will have 75% capacity for the last three games, which will end on July 11.
All ticket holders must have either a negative COVID-19 test or complete vaccine proof – two doses received 14 days before the funds.
Germany and Italy are causing concern
The announcement came after Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called for the final to be moved from England due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on UEFA to take responsibility for plans to hold the final in London for security reasons.
The EU’s health legislator responded to the chancellor’s comments.
“Our health is paramount. “The release of the Delta version makes it impossible for the last 40,000 spectators to watch the stadium in London,” said Peter Lizen.
UEFA has stated that it “does not plan” to change the venues of the semi-finals.
“UEFA, the FA, the English authorities are working closely together to stage the semi-finals of the EURO at Wembley, and there are no plans to change the venue of those games,” a UEFA spokesman told Reuters. Tuesday news agency.
UEFA has also been in talks with the UK government to ease travel restrictions due to viruses, allowing up to 2,500 VIPs to reach the final.
Increase in COVID infections
“In some host cities, COVID-19 cases are already on the rise in the area where the meetings will take place,” said Butler of the WHO.
In areas where infection rates are rising, the WHO has called on Europe to act quickly.
“As we learn from experience, we need to act quickly on signals that show growing cases.
“Expansion of testing և sequence; intensification of contact trajectory; “Fast construction of very high absorption of vaccines among the most vulnerable and vulnerable groups,” he added.
In Denmark, 29 cases were detected in connection with the Euro-2020 games in Copenhagen.
The reported infections involved people who were either already sick or infected during the game, said Annette Laike Petri, a health worker.
“Theoretically, there could be more infected people,” he added.
In Denmark, the capacity of the audience was also recently increased from 16,000 to 25,000. The larger number was first used for last Thursday’s Denmark-Belgium match.
The 68,000-capacity Puskas Arena in Budapest was held in a full stadium.
UEFA deprived him of two cities, Dublin and Bilbao, from playing in the tournament because the permissible capacity was too low.
Among the host cities, in particular, St. Petersburg, Russia, has seen an increase in the number of cases in recent days.
At the same time, the trend has declined in Sicily, Spain, and Rome, where Italian authorities say no COVID-19 cases have been reported.
Although the situation has improved across Europe over the past two months, the WTO urges it to remain vigilant.
“Although we have come a long way, we have not reached far enough,” warned WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge in early June.
Vaccine absorption was still too low to protect the region from resuscitation, he said.