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Supporters Were Admitted To Euro 2020 Games Without Proof Of Covid Status In A Wembley Version

The Independent has revealed that fans were allowed entrance to Wembley Stadium for the final rounds of Euro 2020 without having to confirm their Covid status.
For the final and semi-final matches of the championship, the UK’s largest stadium was allowed to open at about three-quarters capacity, implying that more than 60,000 spectators might be part of the country’s largest sporting audiences since the imposition of lockdown limits last March.
The announcement comes amid allegations that a huge number of fans had gotten the illness as a result of their attendance at the final.
The anecdotal evidence has been so overwhelming that some have dubbed the virus outbreak among supporters “the Wembley variation.”
The government’s decision to allow multiple possible “super-spreader” events concerned scientists, as data suggested hundreds of additional cases among fans who attended the much smaller capacity group stage match between England and Scotland at Wembley.
The government stated that attendance to Events Research Programme games would require documentation of a negative test or full vaccination, but ticket-holders told The Independent that they were permitted into the stadium without being thoroughly vetted.
Supporters also complained that stewards had no means of knowing if entrants were submitting proof of their personal Covid status.
According to attendance, stewards would accept a screenshot of a vaccination certificate without scanning the QR code, as well as a screenshot of an email verifying a negative lateral flow test.
Keith Maple, who tested positive for Covid while in the England stands at Wembley for the semi-final and final games, told The Independent that verification standards deteriorated as match day continued and stewards tried to pass through vast groups of home supporters rapidly.
Mr Maple said he was permitted past stewards by flashing a screenshot of his NHS Covid pass during the semi-final.
“They didn’t ask for identification, and they didn’t scan the screen.”
“There is no way to claim I have Covid and I was in the stadium that day for Track and Trace,” he explained.
“Others informed me they were accepting screenshots of the email verifying a lateral flow test, although it could have just as easily been a forwarded email.”
“That was meant to be a test event, but no one knows who got Covid,” said Vittorio Angelone, who was in attendance at the final on behalf of Italy.
“They were obviously checking if you had an email indicating you were negative or the app,” Mr Angelone told The Independent, “but no cross-referencing with ID or anything.”
“I was at the Italy gate, which was probably less hectic than the others, but it was still just a glimpse at a phone screen and nothing more,” McKee said. “Plus, you could just submit the QR code of a test to the website saying it’s negative and they have no way of knowing so it’s all predicated on some aspect of faith.”
“It appears that our fears have been realized.”
There were certainly numerous issues, including reports in the media of people bribing stewards to get entry,” he stated.
“We are also hearing many reports of people who were at the match and have tested positive, and, while it is too early to say anything definitively, I hope PHE will be listening to those who were there to help understand the data they acquire via their usual channels,” Prof McKee said.
More and larger crowds have been allowed to congregate for major athletic events such as the Euros and Wimbledon, as well as trials of packed nightlife environments and entertainment venues, thanks to the government’s Events Research Initiative.
Scientists warned about relying on lateral flow testing for Events Research Programme dates a few weeks ago, but the government has not amended its requirements.
Professor Denis Kinane, an immunologist and co-founder of testing company Cignpost Diagnostics, told The Independent after the Wembley final that the reliance on lateral flow testing was alarming.
“The issue with lateral flow is that it can only be a stop sign if you have Covid.”
“But, it doesn’t operate as a green light to indicate everything is fine and you absolutely don’t have Covid,” he explained.
Prof Kinane cited testing data from after the Scotland-England encounter at Wembley, which showed that the requirements were the same as for subsequent games.
He explained, “We’ve just observed an awful amount of good cases from men in the usual football fan age group and demography.”
“To see such a large increase in cases just when we’re easing restrictions is worrying,” said the Department of Health and Social Services.

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