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Scottish virus experts link nearly 2,000 Covid-19 cases to fans watching Euro 2020 games – including clash with England at Wembley

Scottish virus experts link nearly 2,000 Covid-19 cases to fans watching Euro 2020 games – including clash with England at Wembley
A total of 1,991 recent cases of Covid-19 in Scotland have been linked to fans watching Euro 2020 games, with 397 infections confirmed in supporters who attended the game against England at Wembley, say public health experts.

According to Public Health Scotland, two-thirds of the cases involved fans who travelled from Scotland to the English capital for the crunch England against Scotland game which reportedly saw tens of thousands make the trip despite pleas from Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to not travel unless they had a matchday ticket.

The Scottish FA was allocated 2,600 tickets for the game at Wembley, with 397 cases confirmed to have been found in people who attended the match with England.

This represents a little under one in every six Scottish fans inside Wembley contracting Covid-19, though infections may well have occurred in scenarios other than at the stadium.

By contrast, a fanzone in Glasgow for the England game produced relatively minimal infections, as did Scotland's two games at Hamden Park. Meanwhile, hundreds of ticketless Scottish fans gathered in London's Leicester Square for the game before being moved by police at half-time. 

Scotland's national clinical director, Professor Jason Leitch, said that he was concerned that nearly 2,000 of Scotland's 32,000 cases of Covid-19 recorded since July 11 have been linked to Euro 2020 – but stated that it is very difficult to identify where an individual case was contracted.

"Some of them may have taken it to London with them, some of them may have got it when they came home," said Leitch.

"But the increasing number of males, the increasing number of young people and the increasing numbers with tagged Euro events – particularly indoor Euro events – and buses and travel would suggest that there is certainly a connection between some of that travel and the Euros".

Also on rt.com Finland suggests increase in Covid cases is linked to fans returning from St. Petersburg following Euro 2020

However, Leitch stressed that this is not a "Euros virus" and that blame shouldn't be apportioned to travelling fans en masse.

"It is, of course, an important part of the last few weeks, but you can catch the virus even if you weren't at the Euros and were not watching the football," he added.

About 90 percent of the 1,991 cases were male, a report indicated, with the age groups being between 20 and 39 in three-quarters of the cases.

The ire among Scottish epidemiologists mirrors a similar debate that is currently ongoing in Finland, where the country's health authorities blamed a sharp uptick in coronavirus cases on fans returning from St. Petersburg, where they watched their team play two matches in the tournament.

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