Uefa VIPs: What are the proposed Euro 2020 quarantine rules?

23 June 2021, 14:50

Uefa VIPs: What are proposed Euro 2020 quarantine rules?
Uefa VIPs: What are proposed Euro 2020 quarantine rules? Picture: PA

By Emma Clarke

Media and data minister John Whittingdale defended the Government over talks with Uefa on quarantine periods for football "VIPs".

The UK Government is facing backlash after talks with Uefa on allowing around 2,500 European football officials into the country without the need for quarantine.

According to reports, Uefa is also demanding that fans of participating teams be allowed to attend the London matches without quarantining, referring to a "contingency plan" to relocate the matches.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that there would be a four-week delay on the easing of lockdown restrictions across England, pushing the initial date for "Freedom Day" back from 21 June to 19 July.

The vaccine programme has also recently been extended to those over the age of 18 in England, in a bid to curb the spread of the new Delta variant.

Travel rules for holidaymakers, meanwhile, have remained strict, with many travel companies mounting pressure on the Government to review rules and restrictions in place.

Protesters from the industry have also taken to the street outside Parliament today, as sector heads fear further job cuts and financial strain if they miss the summer holiday rush once again.

Here, we take a look at the proposed changes for Uefa VIPs and why it's caused so much controversy.

Who are Uefa VIPs?

They are a group made up of Uefa and Fifa officials, as well as politicians, sponsor and broadcasters.

What has been proposed?

Despite Covid travel restrictions, the Government says it is doing "as much as we possibly can" to accommodate Uefa VIPs.

In ongoing talks, the Government has spoken with Uefa on allowing the football officials into the country without the need for quarantine - which is currently set at 10 days.

Of the teams participating in the Euros this year, only Wales and Scotland are on the green list. Scotland was eliminated from the competition, after losing 3-1 to Croatia in the qualifying stages.

The rest, apart from Turkey, which is on the red list, are on the UK's amber list.

What are the current travel rules in place?

Those travelling to England from an amber list country must take a Covid-19 test - and receive a negative result - before they set off.

They must also have a PCR test booked for day 2 and day 8 of their return (children aged 4 and under are exempt), and complete a passenger locator form.

Upon arrival, travellers must quarantine at home or at the place they're staying for 10 days.

Some may be permitted to end their quarantine earlier, through the Test to Release scheme.

For those entering England from a red list country, the rules are slightly different; you must take a Covid-19 test before you enter England, and book a quarantine hotel package, which includes 2 PCR tests. In addition, you must complete a passenger locator form.

Currently, the Government is advising against all travel to red listed countries and territories.

The reaction to the so-called "Uefa VIPs"

A spokesperson for Uefa said on Friday: “At the moment, we are in discussions with the local authorities to try to allow fans of the participating teams to attend the matches, using a strict testing and bubble concept that would mean their stay in the UK would be less than 24 hours and their movements would be restricted to approved transport and venues only.

“We understand the pressures that the government faces and hope to be able to reach a satisfactory conclusion of our discussions on the matter. There is always a contingency plan but we are confident that the final week will be held in London.”

One person wrote on Twitter: "First G7. Then Royal Ascot/Wimbledon. Now this. Rules for us and no rules for them..."

Others have joked they should be considered as Uefa VIPs to allow them to travel.