The Three Lions beat Germany last night to stage a showdown in Rome with Ukraine – but travel restrictions mean most England fans won’t be able to soak up the atmosphere – and the summer heat – in the Eternal City.
Italy is on the UK’s Orange Travel List, and all British arrivals to Italy are currently required to self-isolate for five days.
Speaking to Sky News, the government minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan called on England fans to “watch from home and cheer on the team as hard as possible”.
“Obviously it’s very hard not to smile just seeing all these wonderful flags waving, it makes you so proud that our team performed so well last night,” she said.
“But really, the demand is to watch from home and cheer the team on as hard as possible.
“I think the challenge is to be able to get along from Rome? And I’m sure we’ll take this opportunity to support our incredible England team as much as possible. “
Rules for those hoping to travel to Italy for Saturday’s game
- Those visiting Italy must have proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 48 hours before their trip.
- Upon arrival, all passengers arriving from the UK must complete a passenger locator form before completing five days of isolation.
- If he has proof of a negative COVID test, a traveler can be released after these five days.
- However, that means that even if fans board a flight to Italy on Wednesday, they will still have to self-isolate until at least Sunday – likely having to watch the game from a hotel room.
- The exceptions to the quarantine rule are transport crew members and those who can prove they are in Italy for “work, health or emergency” – but they must not stay in the country for more than five days.
- Those passing through Italy as part of their journey are also exempt from the isolation period – as long as they have left Italy within 36 hours – as are EU officials, diplomats and international students returning to study.
- England fans should also be aware that breaking the rules can be costly, with anyone caught trying to escape their five-day quarantine face a fine.
- Last year Italy introduced financial penalties of 3,000 euros (£ 2,580) for anyone who has even tried to travel between regions.
- If supporters travel to Italy, getting a ticket to the match will also be a challenge, as the FA has said it will not sell tickets for the match to England Supporters Travel Club (ESTC) due to COVID restrictions.
- It is likely that all English expats in Italy will be offered tickets instead, with a statement to be made by the FA on Wednesday.
- And fans traveling to Rome will still have to self-isolate for 10 days upon their return to the UK, as Italy is on the UK’s orange list.
- Passengers can use the ‘release test’ program and pay for a private COVID test on the fifth day of their quarantine which, if negative, ends their period of isolation.
Former England international John Barnes told Sky News England players will need to create their own atmosphere in Rome.
“Well, I hope that doesn’t have an impact because of course it’s great to have your fans there,” he said.
“If you look at the Premier League season where people played without fans and they still played well.
“They have to create their own atmosphere,” he said.
Those in Rome for the game can expect clear skies and 32-degree highs, according to the Met Office.
An England fan with tickets to Saturday’s quarter-final against Ukraine has expressed frustration at not being able to attend due to COVID-related travel restrictions.
Warrick Howard of Leicestershire bought tickets through the voting system in 2019 for 140 euros (£ 120) each, but his plans for the match were curtailed by Italy’s quarantine requirement for arrivals to the Kingdom -United.
“Given the enormous pressure to get everyone vaccinated, there were ways to make it work for the fans attending this tournament, but UEFA and the EU made no effort to do it, ”the 37-year-old told the PA News Agency.
“I guess they were too busy organizing thousands of ‘no quarantine required’ exemptions for their few thousand VIPs.
“I thought about flying to Italy on Sunday June 27 and doing my five-day quarantine in an AirBnB apartment, so I would be free for the game if England were successful… but it would have taken a week of leave. . “
Meanwhile, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) subcommittee on behavioral science has warned the UK risks repeating last summer’s mistakes.
Professor Stephen Reicher, of the University of St Andrews, told Times Radio: ‘My fear is that we are in line to repeat the mistakes of last summer – if you remember, the Prime Minister told us that it was our patriotic duty to go to the pub, that people should go to work or they might lose their jobs, we had to eat out to help.
“The consequence was that we never had infections weak enough to be able to cope with the disease and so when conditions changed in the fall, when schools returned and people returned to work and universities went back and the weather got worse and we got in so the infections increased. “
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