The long awaited and much talked-about Euro 2020 tournament – yes, 2020 – is about to start on the 11 June, 2021.
51 matches over 31 days at 11 venues including London and Glasgow. The games that keep their 2020 badge and title, have been postponed until this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
And yet amid the excitement, we’re still very much in the midst of that same pandemic, with case numbers across the country rising, as the latest and more virulent Delta strain becomes the dominant one.
With it, words of caution from public health experts.
“While case numbers are comparatively low in Devon still, for the moment, positive cases across the country are rising as they are in other European countries,” said Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon.
“Euro 2020 will be a time of much emotion, and for many perhaps not sat watching it on TV at home, travel to friends and family to watch games or even to Wembley or Hampden Park to see the matches, may be in the offing.
“My message is simple. Enjoy the tournament, but do so safely.
“Areas of the country are doubling down right now on this latest strain of the virus, with increased testing, tracing and vaccinations.
“If you are travelling, please know what the restrictions are in the places you’re visiting. If you’re visiting parts of the country where the Delta strain is dominant, please try to meet people outdoors, and wear a face covering when indoors in public spaces.
“If you are watching the games with others indoors, please open the window and let fresh air circulate. Keep your distance and remember to wash your hands properly and regularly.
“Continue to take a rapid lateral flow test twice a week, and know your results within half an hour. If you know you’re visiting others, take the test before your visit to have peace of mind that you’re not carrying the virus and spreading it to others.
“So as we’re cheering on our teams, please, as difficult as it might be, don’t let your guard down. Enjoy the games, most definitely, but do so safely.
“We need to beat coronavirus and the final whistle hasn’t blown yet!”
The rules inside and out
Inside – You can watch football inside pubs across the UK, but remember that in England, up to six people from six households (or two households of any size) can meet.
Outside – In England, up to 30 people can meet in a pub garden.
That goes for inviting people back to yours to watch the game. Up to six people from multiple houses can gather indoors, and up to 30 outdoors.
Use personal judgement when it comes to hugging close friends. Public Health advise to err on caution and be careful.