Euro 2020: Fan zone 'one of safest places' to watch tournament, says official

The Euro 2020 fan zone in Glasgow will be one of the safest places to watch the tournament, an official has said.

Up to 6,000 people a day, split into two sessions, will gather in the fan zone in Glasgow Green to watch matches on every day of the tournament, which is the first the Scotland men’s team have qualified for in more than two decades.

Concerns have been raised about the safety of the event amid the pandemic, with fans not required to take a lateral flow test before attending.

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Public health expert Professor Linda Bauld, of the University of Edinburgh, has warned the fan zone is “not without risk”, though Scottish health secretary Humza Yousaf has insisted it is a “low-risk event”.

Justine Ralston cleans tables as finishing preparations are made to the UEFA Euro 2020 fan zone at Glasgow Green. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

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Mr Yousaf is due to meet with Glasgow City Council officials for further discussions on measures at the event.

Final preparations are under way in Glasgow Green ahead of the opening of the fan zone on Friday, with supporters able to watch matches on four giant screens.

Chris Weitz, senior sport development officer at Glasgow Life, which is running the fan zone, said he is confident it would be a safe environment.

A general view of the UEFA Euro 2020 Fan Zone at Glasgow Green. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

He said: “We’re expecting people to come to the fan zone and enjoy the games in what I would describe as one of the safest places they could come to watch the football matches. We’re outside, the tables are separated, two metres social distancing.

“We’ve adhered to guidance, we’ve worked closely with the Scottish Government and other partners taking advice on what measures we need to have in place, and we will continue to do so.

“This fan zone will be one of the safest places to watch the Euro matches and we are very confident of that and we’ve worked so hard to ensure that will remain so for the 31 days.”

The event area has a capacity of 80,000, but just 3,000 fans are permitted at each of the two sessions per day, with a break between them to allow the site to be cleaned.

Physical distancing measures will be in place across the fan zone and spectators will be required to wear a face covering when moving around Glasgow Green, though they can be removed when seated at their table in the Beverage Garden or seated or standing in the family area.

Mr Yousaf has said Glasgow City Council will contact every fan zone ticket-holder to encourage them to take a lateral flow test at home before attending.

He urged everyone with a ticket to any session to test before arrival.

Guidance on the fan zone website states: “We are strongly encouraging all ticket-holders and their groups to take a rapid lateral flow test before attending the fan zone to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

“This should be taken at home less than 48 hours before attending.”

A fan zone festival will also take place over 23 days of the tournament, with entertainment such as music, comedy and dance when there are no matches and on the majority of afternoons when there is only an evening match.

Euro 2020 is being played at venues across Europe this summer, including Hampden Park in Glasgow, after being postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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