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Euro 2021 host cities: Wembley hopes boosted but Dublin has been dropped

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Wembley will stage additional Euro 2021 last-16 match as a reward from Uefa to the Football Association for its part in stopping the proposed European Super League.

However, Dublin has been stripped of its matches after failing to meet the deadline for guaranteeing fans, as has Bilbao. Seville will replace Bilbao as a host city for the tournament, taking on three group stage matches and one last 16 match.

Telegraph Sport understands there is goodwill from Uefa towards the FA’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham, for his efforts in opposing the league and rallying support from the Duke of Cambridge and the Prime Minister, that will result in Wembley having more games.

The move comes a week after Munich, Rome, Bilbao and Dublin received a stay of execution as Euro 2021 host cities – after Uefa gave them an extension until April 19 to guarantee fans. That deadline was subsequently extended to April 23 after the emergence of the Super League project on April 18. Rome and Munich were able to provide assurances in time, but the other two were not. 

A final plan for the delayed competition is moving apace, with local officials in the Spanish city of Bilbao confirming it had been dropped by Uefa. The city’s local organisers threatened to sue the European body over its “unilateral” decision drop the city as a host. It had been scheduled to host Spain’s matches in Group E group against Poland, Sweden and Slovakia.

St. Petersburg will now host six group stage matches, as it takes over the responsibility of hosting group games from Dublin.

Uncertainty remains about whether traveling fans will be allowed into nine of the host nations at the first European Championship to be held in so many countries.

Only Baku (Azerbaijan), Budapest (Hungary) and St. Petersburg (Russia) have said so far that ticket-holders flying in will be exempt from any quarantine or other entry requirements apart from proof of negative Covid-19 tests. Hungary will also allow entry if a fan can show they have been infected within the past six months. Bucharest will allow fans staying for less than three days to avoid isolating on arrival, along with them presenting a negative test.

Wembley, which has a tournament-high seven fixtures, will have at least a quarter of the 90,000-seat stadium filled in the group stage and last 16. The intention is for the capacity to rise to at least 45,000 for the semifinals and July 11 final.

Amsterdam, Bucharest, Copenhagen and Glasgow said capacities can be at 25 per cent to 33 per cent — numbers that could rise based on the progress of vaccination programs and infections dropping.

“Currently, eight host countries have confirmed stadium capacities based on their projections of an improved health situation in their countries in June and July due to a number of factors, including a country’s vaccination rollout, its planned measures for reopening the economy, and the projected slowdown in the virus due to the warmer season,” Uefa said in a statement.

Telegraph Sport has examined the current coronavirus restrictions and vaccination situation for every host city:

Amsterdam, Holland

  • What the local authorities have said: Despite long-running national restrictions, the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) said “at least 12,000 spectators” will be allowed to attend matches in the Johan Cruyff Arena. The ground has a capacity of 55,500, meaning it will be at least 20 per cent full. In a joint statement with the Dutch government, the KNVB also expressed hope that this number will be increased, although it is dependent on the coronavirus situation a few weeks before the first match.

  • Current nationwide restrictions: Lockdown measures are set to be eased in the first phase of reopening on April 28. Outdoor seating at restaurants is set to resume, while shops can also reopen. The evening curfew will now be lifted at 4.30am. The next phase of reopening is scheduled for May 11.

  • Current vaccine numbers: 30.4 percent (The Dutch have so far vaccinated 5.2 million of their 17.3 million people)

  • Can I travel there?: For UK nationals who are not Dutch residents, there is currently a travel ban in force, although exemptions for reasons such as work and study apply. It is unclear when this travel ban may be lifted.

  • Matches to host: Three group stage matches, one round-of-16 match. 

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Baku, Azerbaijan

  • What the local authorities have said: The Azeri authorities have announced that the Baku Olympic Stadium will be 50 per cent full for matches, meaning 34,350 fans will be in attendance. However, only local Azeri and citizens from participating teams will be allowed to attend.

  • Current nationwide restrictions: Stay at home requirements were lifted in the Azeri capital on January 25, meaning residents no longer required Government permission to leave their homes. Hotels and most local businesses are open, though the Baku Metro remains closed and all mass events are currently cancelled. 

  • Current vaccine numbers: 14 per cent (Latest figures show 1.42 million have been vaccinated of a total 10 million people)

  • Can I travel there?: Though the land borders remain closed, there are a limited number of flights available to Baku. However, e-visas are no longer being issued. Those wishing to travel must get dispensation from the Azeri embassy in their country of origin. 

  • Matches to host: Three group stage matches, one quarter-final. 

Bucharest, Romania

  • What the local authorities have said: The Romanian ministry of Sports announced that the National Arena can be up to 25 per cent full for matches, equating to 13,000 spectators. In order to be admitted, fans will have to prove they have been vaccinated or have recovered from the virus, providing them with some immunity. 

  • Current nationwide restrictions: An 11pm-5am curfew is in force. Hotels are open, though some facilities such as pools remain closed, while the sale of food is restricted to room service. Mass public gatherings are currently banned though the Government brought in an exception for epiphany in January, when crowds of up to 3,000 could gather for outdoor services. 

  • Current vaccine numbers: 25.1 per cent (4.8 million of Romania’s 19.4 million residents have received a jab to date)

  • Can I travel there?: Flights from the UK resumed on January 4 after a temporary travel ban. Those who have received both vaccine doses will not be required to self-isolate on arrival. However, a non-essential travel entry ban remains in effect. 

  • Matches to host: Three group stage matches, one round-of-16 match.

Budapest, Hungary

  • What the local authorities have said: The Hungarian authorities have announced they plan to have the Puskas Arena full to capacity for their matches, meaning 61,000 could be in attendance. Foreign fans will be allowed to enter, provided they have a negative PCR test, proof of immunity or of vaccination. Hungarian fans will have to provide either proof of immunity or vaccination, as a negative PCR test will not be enough for them.

  • Current nationwide restrictions: A nationwide 8pm-5am curfew is in place. All leisure facilities and restaurants are closed, and hotels may only receive business guests, no tourists. In Budapest, face masks are mandatory in all public places. All mass gatherings are currently banned. 

  • Current vaccine numbers: 55.8 per cent (5.6 million of Hungary’s 10 million people have received a vaccine)

  • Can I travel there?: Business travellers and Hungarian residents are the only people allowed entry, and all must fulfil a mandatory five-day quarantine and return two negative PCR tests. However, land and air borders remain open.

  • Matches to host: Three group stage matches, one round-of-16 match.

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Copenhagen, Denmark

  • What the local authorities have said: Danish Culture minister Joy Mogensen said they are hoping to host at least 12,000 fans at the 38,000 capacity Parken Stadium, equating to a capacity of 30 per cent. This number could increase, if vaccination and case numbers are favourable.

  • Current nationwide restrictions: Denmark has entered the second phase of its reopening. Restaurants and cafes are open, including for indoor dining if citizens present their updated ‘corona pass’. Outdoor gatherings are now limited to 50 people and shops and hotels are open, though cinemas and gyms remain closed.

  • Current vaccine numbers: 31.1 per cent (1.8 million Danes have received a vaccine, in a country of 5.8 million)

  • Can I travel there?: Travel is banned for non-Danish residents and those without a ‘special worthy purpose’. All arrivals must go through a 10-day quarantine (reduced to four if they take a PCR test that comes back negative). 

  • Matches to host: Three group stage matches, one round-of-16 match.

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Glasgow, Scotland

  • What the local authorities have said: After First minister Nicola Sturgeon announced she was “desperate” to see some fans at Hampden Park, the Scottish FA announced they expect to be able to fill the ground to 25 per cent capacity for matches this summer. Sturgeon also announced that it is likely some form of vaccine certification will be required for attending supporters.

  • Current nationwide restrictions: Scotland is accelerating its reopening plan thanks to its low case numbers and successful vaccine roll-out. Shops, gyms, swimming pools, pubs, restaurants and cafes have now reopened, while non-essential travel to the rest of the UK has also recommenced. 

  • Current vaccine numbers: 70.3 per cent (over 3.8 million have been vaccinated, of a total of 5.5 million people)

  • Can I travel there?: Travel over the Scottish-English border has now begun again for non-essential reasons. International travellers must present a negative PCR test and quarantine for 10 days on arrival

  • Matches to host: Three group stage matches, one round-of-16 match.

London, England

  • What the local authorities have said: Tthe FA announced they hope to be able to seat 20,000 for the group and round-of-16 matches, before increasing this to 45,000 for the semi-finals and final. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has said he hopes to see a “capacity crowd” at Wembley for the final. 

  • Current nationwide restrictions: Boris Johnson has unveiled his roadmap out of lockdown. While some restrictions will remain in place until June 21, pilot events where fans can attend have been announced for April and May. There is an outside possibility that capacity crowds will be at Wembley for the tournament. 

  • Current vaccine numbers: 69.5 per cent (39.1 million out of 56 million people)

  • Can I travel there?: All arrivals must complete a 10-day quarantine and take two PCR tests. Those arriving from red list countries must do so at mandatory quarantine hotels. 

  • Matches to host: Three group stage matches, two round-of-16 matches, both semi-finals, final.

Munich, Germany

  • What the local authorities have said: After receiving a stay-of-execution from Uefa, German authorities announced that the Allianz Arena will be 20 per cent full for the tournament, meaning 14,500 people will be allowed to attend.

  • Current nationwide restrictions: All non-essential shops, including restaurants, are closed until at least May 9 under the ’emergency break’ system. Work from home is strongly encouraged. A 10pm-5am curfew is currently in effect in Bavaria.

  • Current vaccine numbers: 30.9 per cent (25.9 million of 83 million have received a jab)

  • Can I travel there?: All non-German residents coming from the UK are currently banned from entering, although borders remain open for Schengen-area residents. A negative PCR test is expected on entry and a mandatory 10-14 day quarantine is in effect.

  • Matches to host: Three group stage matches, one quarter-final.

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Rome, Italy

  • What the local authorities have said: Alongside the government, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has announced 18,000 fans will be allowed inside the Stadio Olimpico, about 25 per cent of the 72,600 capacity. This number could be revised based on vaccination rates and fans will have to download an app which monitors social distancing.

  • Current nationwide restrictions: Italy operates a tier-system for restrictions while a 10pm-5am curfew is in place nationwide. Rome is currently under ‘yellow’ restrictions, meaning outdoor dining at restaurants is permitted and shops and cultural attractions are open.

  • Current vaccine numbers: 30 per cent (18.9 million of 60 million have received a jab)

  • Can I travel there?: Entry from the UK has resumed for non-Italians and those making non-essential trips. However, those travelling must present a negative PCR-test taken no more than 48 hours prior to arrival and self-isolate for 5 days on arrival.

  • Matches to host: Three group stage matches, one quarter-final.

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Seville, Spain

  • What the local authorities have said: Following a decision by Uefa to drop Bilbao as a host city, Seville has been selected as the replacement in Spain. Bilbao’s local organisers threatened to sue the European soccer body over its “unilateral” decision drop the city as a host. However, the city of Seville will take over, with the 60,000-seater Estadio de La Cartuja confirmed as receiving a crowd of 30 per cent capacity, which is approximately 18,000 people.

  • Current nationwide restrictions: Local curfew restrictions are in force from 11pm-6am in the Andalucia region. However, restaurants and other non-essential businesses are open at 50 per cent capacity, with a ‘rule of six’ in force. The wearing of masks is mandatory in all public spaces. Mass gatherings are banned. 

  • Current vaccine numbers: 31.5 per cent (14.7 million out of 47 million have received a jab)

  • Can I travel there?: The Spanish Government lifted a ban on travel to and from the UK for all non-residents on March 30. 

  • Matches to host: Three group stage matches, one round-of-16 match

St. Petersburg, Russia

  • What the local authorities have said: St. Petersburg has been awarded three extra group stage matches, replacing Dublin as a host city, after Irish authorities failed to confirm spectators would have been allowed to attend. Russian authorities have announced they will host fans at at least 50 per cent capacity of the 65,000 seater Gazprom Arena. They have also stated they aim to increase this number, vaccination and infection rates permitting.

  • Current nationwide restrictions: Russia is in the middle of a phased reopening. Hotels are open as are restaurants and other non-essential businesses. Limited crowds can attend sporting events.

  • Current vaccine numbers: 12.6 per cent (18.3 million of Russia’s 144.5 million people have received a jab)

  • Can I travel there?: Those arriving form the UK who are not Russian residents are banned from entry until at least June 1. Those arriving from elsewhere must present a negative PCR test on arrival.

  • Matches to host: Six group stage matches, one quarter-final.

Vaccination figures taken from Our World In Data on 27/4/21


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