London mayor Sadiq Khan, sports minister Nigel Huddleston and the Scottish government have pleaded with Scotland fans not to travel to the capital without a ticket for Friday night’s Euro 2020 meeting with England.
The UK government’s coronavirus restrictions means Wembley will be limited to 22,500 supporters, with just over 1,000 socially-distanced key workers allowed in the official fan-zone at Trafalgar Square – an historic meeting point for the Tartan Army in London.
With cases of the Delta variant, first identified in India, rising nationwide and the government having delayed the lifting of all restrictions for four weeks from June 21, officials are urging fans not to travel to London without a match-ticket or a safe place to watch the game from home.
The fan-zone screen will only be visible to people with a ticket, while pubs and restaurants will only be operating table service and therefore have a limited capacity.
“Scottish fans are renowned around the world for bringing a party atmosphere with them to the big tournaments but with COVID restrictions still in place on both sides of the border, the best thing for fans without tickets to the game or a safe place to watch it is to enjoy the game from Scotland and not come to London,” said London mayor Khan.
“In an ideal world I would welcome the Tartan Army to London for this match with open arms – but with Covid cases increasing, and with so much at stake as we fight this awful virus, I’m afraid that it just cannot be this time, so the best thing to do is not to come to London and instead enjoy the game at home .”
Scottish culture minister Jenny Gilruth said: “I know for many of us EURO 2020 will be one of the highlights of the summer and an opportunity to support our national team.
“There will also be huge interest in the Scotland v England game at Wembley, but we must continue to be cautious – and I strongly urge fans to only travel if you have a ticket or a safe place to watch the match from.
“Although we have made great progress, we all still have an important part to play in making sure we keep the virus under control. So I urge all football fans to plan in advance how you are going to safely enjoy the tournament.”
Huddleston added: “We continue to advise fans without tickets to enjoy the match close to home and not travel to London unless you have somewhere already finalised to watch the game safely.”
Scotland fans with match tickets are required to undergo a test before travelling south of the border, while all fans at Wembley will have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter the national stadium on Friday.