Glasgow Euros fan zone will be 'continually reviewed', says Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has said plans for a fan zone in Glasgow for football’s European Championships will be “continually reviewed” in response to concerns about the proposals.

After confirming Glasgow would be moving down from level three restrictions to level two, the First Minister insisted public safety continued to be the Scottish Government’s “overriding priority” ahead of plans for the tournament and fan zone.

Glasgow City Council announced last month it would hold a fan zone event at Glasgow Green for football’s European Championships, which would allow 6,000 people to gather together per day.

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Glasgow City Council announced last month it would hold a fan zone event at Glasgow Green during Euro 2020

Fans will be able to watch the Scotland men’s team play in their first major tournament since the World Cup in France in 1998.

Ms Sturgeon said restrictions to reduce the spread of coronavirus in the city were aimed at enabling all of society to reopen, but the government was “working hard to make sure” Glasgow could welcome fans.

Asked about concerns surrounding a possible influx of people to the area, she said she “can understand people’s nervousness” about the plans.

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Speaking after her statement to Parliament in which she announced Glasgow will move to level two from Saturday, Ms Sturgeon said: “These are difficult decisions.

“On the one hand, all of us want to be able to see Scotland play in the Euros and to see the Euros more generally, to have fans in the stadium and to have the ability of fans to enjoy the tournament more generally.

“We also want to see events start again and to have the assurance they can happen safely.

“But on the other hand, I know that people – perhaps those to whom football is not as important as it is too many – think, ‘well if I’m still under restrictions, why do we have large scale events?’

“We’re trying to get the balance of all of this as right as we can.

“We’re working closely with the event organisers on preparations for the proposed fan zone.

“The situation with the virus will be continually reviewed in the run-up to the Euros, taking into account all of the latest evidence and information.

“But the action that we’re all taking is not about allowing a football tournament to go ahead, it’s about allowing us to get everything – or as much as possible – in our society back to normal.

“The arrangement for the proposed fan zone have lots of mitigations in place to minimise risks of transmission.”

She added: “These matters will continue to be kept under review.

“We want to allow fans to safely enjoy the Euros … and we will work hard to make sure that is the case.

“But public safety and protecting people against this virus continues to be our overriding priority.”

The statement from the First Minister followed comments by Professor James Chalmers, an epidemiologist from Dundee University, who said the risk of Covid-19 in outdoor settings such as fan zones was “relatively modest”.

Prof Chalmers told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland: “Although there have been successful trials of outdoor and even some indoor events with testing, outdoor transmission is believed to be much less of a risk than indoor transmission.”

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