John Swinney 'confident' 6,000-capacity Euro 2020 fan zone will open

Deputy First Minister John Swinney is “confident” a 6,000 capacity Euro 2020 fan zone will open in Glasgow in two weeks, despite the city being subject to the strictest coronavirus restrictions across Scotland.

Glasgow is the only area in Scotland under level three of the Scottish Government’s five-tier coronavirus restrictions, meaning residents cannot meet others indoors at home, travel out of the city or drink alcohol indoors in pubs and restaurants.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said on Friday that Covid-19 case numbers in Glasgow remain “uncomfortably” high, driven by an outbreak of the Indian variant of the virus mainly concentrated in the city’s southside.

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She said a decision would be made by Wednesday at the latest on whether the city can move to level two on Saturday.

A general view of Euro 2020 branding on display at Hampden Park. Picture: SNS Group

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The Scottish Government has approved plans for up to 6,000 people per day to attend an outdoor fan zone in Glasgow Green over the 31 days of the Uefa Euro 2020 tournament beginning on June 11.

The approval is “subject to the state of the pandemic nearer the time”, but Mr Swinney believes it will go ahead.

He told BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show that evidence demonstrates measures taken to supress the outbreak, including drop-in vaccination centres and door-to-door testing, as well as remaining at a higher restriction level, are “successful”.

He added: “The fan zone as you talk about, they are going to be very regulated environments so there will be significant constraints upon who can get in and what testing has got to be undertaken to enable that to be sustained.

“So combining that with what we do in individual localities to make sure people are taking all the necessary steps to supress the virus, I’m confident that we can achieve that.

“We can only do that if we follow the sustained approach we have taken to make sure that we keep the virus under control.”

The Scottish Government’s latest coronavirus figures show Scotland recorded 526 new coronavirus cases but no further deaths of people with the virus in the past 24 hours.

It means the death toll under this daily measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – remains at 7,668.

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