August 23 – The Euro 2020 final between England and Italy was a ‘superspreader’ event due to the level of COVID-19 infection found in or around London’s Wembley Stadium on the day, according to official data.
England’s public health authority said 2,295 people were likely to have been infectious with a further 3,404 potentially acquiring infection at the July 11 showpiece fixture that attracted a crowd of around 67,000.
While fans were required to take a coronavirus test to be allowed entry to Wembley, the system relied on them reporting whether the test was negative. The British government was heavily criticised for allowing so many fans into the stadium at the height of a fresh wave of infections, dominated by the highly contagious delta variant.
Scientists believe the tournament generated “a significant risk to public health”.
“This risk arose not just from individuals attending the event itself, but included activities undertaken during travel and associated social activities,” the data further revealed.
The final was marked by mass disorder, including dozens of ticketless fans storming the stadium.
“Euro 2020 was a unique occasion and it is unlikely we would see a similar impact on COVID-19 cases from future events,” said Jenifer Smith, Public Health England’s deputy medical director.
“However, the data does show how easily the virus can spread when there is close contact and this should be a warning to us all as we try and return to a cautious normality once again.”
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