LIVE – Euro 2021: the atmosphere is tense around Wembley



On Wednesday, the victory of the English in the semi-final against the Danes (2-1 ap) gave rise to scenes of jubilation in the London stadium, as if the health crisis no longer existed. The same images of fans hugging and screaming their joy, often without a mask, could recur on Sunday against Italy (9:00 p.m.), in the « land of football » which has been awaiting a first title since 1966.

UK Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said he was « confident that there will not be a major explosion » in Euro-related Covid cases. « But I can not guarantee it for the moment. We have to see what will happen, » he however immediately tempered.

An optimism that specialists do not necessarily share. « It is not so much the final the problem », notes epidemiologist Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Geneva, insofar as « fairly dense events » type carnivals or festivals have « never been the object of clusters identified after, » he told AFP.

« On the other hand, it is important not to think that these matches are simply matches. People come in crowded transport, very insecure, they are housed on site, they go to bars, to party, to have joyful interactions. or on the contrary drown their tears. There will be a third half which will probably be a source of infections, « he warns.

A report released Thursday by the Imperial College of London highlighted a much stronger rise in Covid cases in London than in the rest of England, and much stronger among men than women, a trend that could be related to sports news.

« If I were to speculate on the impact of the Euro (…) I would first think of the increased likelihood of people gathering indoors more frequently than they otherwise would, » noted Professor Steven Riley, author of the report. « My first thought would not be immediately for the stadiums or their surroundings, it would be more for the general attitude of the population, but we do not have results which evoke this particular point in this study », he said. admitted.


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