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Football: Italy warns fans from England not to use travel loopholes

Football: Italy warns fans from England not to use travel loopholes

General view inside the stadium before the Euro 2020 match between Italy and Switzerland on Jun 16, 2021. (File photo: Pool via REUTERS/Alberto Lingria)

ROME: Italy has warned any fans from England not to try to use loopholes in COVID-19 travel restrictions to sneak into the quarter-finals Euro 2020 clash between England and Ukraine in Rome on Saturday (Jul 3), even if they have a ticket.

In an effort to prevent the spread of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant, Rome last month introduced a five-day quarantine for anyone coming to Italy who had been to Britain in the previous two weeks.

It made an exception for short-stay business trips and visitors in transit, but on Thursday the Italian embassy in London issued a statement saying anyone in the country under these circumstances will not be let into the stadium.

READ: Football - WHO Europe calls for better monitoring of Euro spectators

"Being exempt from quarantine in Italy for any legal reason will not translate into permission to enter the stadium," the embassy wrote. "Fans based in the UK should therefore not travel to Italy to attend the match on Saturday at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome."

Widescale checks are expected as people enter the stadium. Anyone found to have ignored general quarantine rules faces a fine of up to €3,000 (US$3,555), the health ministry website says.

READ: Football - German minister chides 'irresponsible' UEFA over Euro 2020 crowds

UEFA has said 16,000 fans will be let into Saturday's game - 25 per cent of its total capacity.

The fresh travel warning comes after the English Football Association said on Wednesday that it "will not be selling any tickets via the England Supporters Travel Club for this fixture" due to the travel restrictions.

Britain is battling a surge in infections caused by the Delta variant, which was first detected in India, reporting 26,068 new cases on Wednesday. Italy, by comparison, registered just 776 daily cases.

Source: Reuters/dv

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