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British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

Member comments

  1. Guess they didn’t care about what happened at the Australian Tennis Tournament. Money Talks, as always – if we have an outbreak, the Football higher ups won’t worry about it from their yauchts.

  2. And yet I cant see my boyfriend – who i havent met for 9 months -because he lives in the UK. Money talks.

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LGBT

Germany turns rainbow-coloured in protest at UEFA stadium ban

Germany will stage a defiant display of rainbows on Wednesday after UEFA blocked plans to light Munich's stadium in rainbow colours in protest against Hungary's anti-LGBTQ law, with the Foreign Minister slamming the European football body's decision as "wrong".

Germany turns rainbow-coloured in protest at UEFA stadium ban
A security guard raises the rainbow flag at the European Commission building in Berlin on Wednesday in protest against Hungary's anti-LGBTQ law. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christoph Soeder

In the escalating political row over Hungary’s passing last week of a law banning the “promotion” of homosexuality to minors, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also weighed in from Brussels, slamming Budapest’s move as a disgrace.

Budapest meanwhile hit back, praising UEFA for taking a stance against “provocation”, while stadia across the country prepared to light up in national colours in a tit-for-tat display during Germany’s Euro 2020 match
with Hungary.

The two countries are due to play later Wednesday at the Allianz Arena in Munich, whose city authorities had planned to light the stadium up in rainbow colours to “send a visible sign of solidarity” with Hungary’s LGBTQ community.

READ ALSO: UEFA refuses to light Munich stadium in rainbow colours for Germany-Hungary match

But UEFA refused the request, insisting it must remain a “politically and religiously neutral organisation”.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas criticised the move, tweeting: “It’s true, the football pitch is not about politics. It’s about people, about fairness, about tolerance. That’s why @UEFA is sending the wrong signal.”

Vowing defiance, Munich was planning to put up rainbow-coloured flags at its town hall and illuminate a huge wind turbine close to the stadium, as well as the city’s 291-metre (955-foot) Olympic Tower.

Other stadiums across Germany were also planning rainbow light displays, including Berlin’s iconic Olympic Stadium, as well as Bundesliga stadiums in Cologne, Frankfurt and Wolfsburg.

German newspapers, such as the Süddeutsche zeitung, displayed rainbows on their front pages, while Bavarian industrial giants such as Siemens and BMW also decked themselves in rainbow colours on Twitter.

‘Against European values’

In Brussels, Von der Leyen said the Hungarian bill “clearly discriminates against people on the basis of their sexual orientation. And it goes against all the values, the fundamental values of the European Union”.

UEFA’s refusal to allow Munich to send its message of solidarity also drew condemnation from football personalities across Europe, as well as from Germany’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community.

“I find it shameful that UEFA forbids us to send a sign for cosmopolitanism, tolerance, respect and solidarity with the people of the LGBT
community,” said Munich mayor Dieter Reiter.

Germany head coach Joachim Löw said he “would have been happy” if the stadium was lit in rainbow colours.

Markus Ulrich, a spokesman for Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Association (LSVD), told AFP subsidiary SID that UEFA had “not recognised the signs of the times – and it is clear to see which side it is taking with its decision”.

However, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto hailed UEFA’s decision as correct.

“The leadership of UEFA made the right decision by not assisting in a political provocation against Hungary,” Szijjarto told AFP.

The interim president of the German FA also backed European football’s governing body.

“It is no longer a mere statement in the common fight against any form of discrimination, but a political action,” said Rainer Koch, who also sits on UEFA’s Executive Committee.

By Yann SCHREIBER with Femke COLBORNE in Berlin

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