The government and UEFA have been locked in talks over travel restrictions for what is said to be 2,500 VIPs attending the Euro 2020 competition’s final on July 11 at Wembley
An MP has slammed proposals that could see thousands of VIPs let in to watch the Euro 2020 football final without having to quarantine.
Caroline Lucas called the plans ‘deep hypocrisy’ and said it was reminiscent of the Dominic Cummings scandal when he travelled to Barnard Castle during lockdown.
The government and UEFA have been locked in talks over travel restrictions for what is said to be 2,500 VIPs attending the competition’s final on July 11.
Culture Minister John Whittingdale previously told Sky News there would be “some people coming in”, but that they would be under “strict restrictions as to what else they can do and we have measured those things very carefully”.
Speaking during a discussion on BBC’s Question Timne on Thursday, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion said: “This stinks, it absolutely stinks, it’s deep hypocrisy, it’s Barnard Castle all over again.
“And that means it’s dangerous too because at that point people lost confidence in what they were being asked to do.
“Everyone has made such huge sacrifices and then they have seen that thrown back in their faces, back then with Cummings going to Barnard Castle, now with 2,500 UEFA people just being able to barge their way in and the government putting out the red carpet.
“It’s dangerous because it undermines confidence in the measures…it’s still going to mean you are going to have more people close together.”
Tory minister Robert Buckland MP defended the move and said: “I think I think the rationale is, putting it absolutely straight, that we want to attract a major international football tournament to the UK, and I think that they bring a lot of joy.
“They also bring, frankly, a lot of revenue for our businesses and our industries across the country, and therefore it is right that we do try and play on that stage, to use an unfortunate pun.”
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He added that negotiations were still ongoing as to how the plan would work.
The government announced on Tuesday that more than 60,000 football fans will be allowed to attend the semi-finals and final at Wembley if they have a negative Covid-19 test or prove they are double vaccinated.
UEFA is thought to be pushing for 2,500 VIPs to attend the competition’s final on July 11 without being subjected to quarantine requirements that apply to other international travellers.
The government and UEFA have been engaged in talks over travel restrictions, which a UK source said were “positive” and that “final details are being worked through”, although ministers had indicated that some restrictions would remain in place.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said earlier: “As we continue to make progress on our road map out of lockdown, keeping the public safe remains our top priority.
“We have worked extremely closely with UEFA and the FA to ensure rigorous and tight public health measures are in place whilst allowing more fans to see the action live.
“The finals promise to be an unforgettable moment in our national recovery from the pandemic.”