July 5 – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rebuffed concerns raised by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that increased crowds at upcoming Euro 2020 games in London could accelerate the spread of Covid-19.
Merkel said she was worried about UEFA’s decision to allow bigger crowds during a spike in the coronavirus crisis caused by the Delta variant.
But Johnson, speaking alongside her at a joint news conference last week, said he did not plan to order a reduction in crowds attending the remaining tournament matches at Wembley Stadium.
Crowd capacity at Wembley is being increased to more than 60,000 fans for the semi-finals and final under a pilot scheme.
“Of course we’ll follow the scientific guidance and the advice if we receive any such suggestion,” Johnson said.
“But at the moment… the position is very clear in the UK, which is that we have certain events which we can put on in a very careful and controlled manner with testing of everybody who goes there.”
Johnson also said Britain had built up a “considerable wall of immunity” against COVID-19 with its vaccination programme despite British citizens being barred from entering most foreign countries without stringent testing unless in exceptional circumstances.
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