The third meeting for the stakeholders of the London Host City / Wembley matches was on Wednesday 19 May. In addition to ATAC there was various representation from the MET, FSE, BTP, GLA, The FA, Czech and Croatian fans groups.
As previously pointed out the Fanzone will be at Trafalgar Square. For the first two England group matches the capacity will be restricted to between 750 and 790. It will be ticket only, by invitation, and these first two matches are only open to key workers. The intention for the Fanzone is that is will be a place to watch the matches rather than a pre-match venue. Greater London Authority are aiming to secure the square from Thursday 17 June. Post-21 June, they are aiming to accommodate around 7,500 if social distancing measures are relaxed.
It appears that trains from Scotland to London are sold out for matchday and also for matchday -1. Currently, alcohol is permitted on Avanti trains but LNER are still dry. British Transport Police are pushing for updates and are conscious that a level of relaxation would be well received by passengers.
Bus parking zones will be bookable via a UEFA app. Once we have the link to this it will be shared. If driving to the match then the recommendation is to park North of London and to get an overland train. There was a lot of emphasis on the fact that both driving and parking within London is not a pleasant experience.
For the Czech and Croatian fans under current Amber travel restrictions they face a 10 day quarantine with a test on day 2 and also on day 5. The UK government want to end restrictions on 21 June but the Indian/April 02/B.1.617 variant may prevent this. The Czech and Croatian reps both spoke about how difficult their current position is, and with continued uncertainty as to whether those with tickets will be able to attend. Some may travel, but the bulk of both supporters based outside of the UK remain in limbo. We have sympathised with both fan groups, and really feel for the Croatian and Czech fans sitting in on these planning meetings knowing that there is a good chance they will not be attending the games.
We asked which section our PNA tickets will be for. This is not yet known. We asked if photocopies of ID would be acceptable. There seems to be a feeling that the tightly controlled UEFA ticket app may preclude this as it holds passport details. Graeme pointed out that ID is a requirement within the UEFA ticketing terms and conditions but there is a feeling that this may be to cover all bases for the specific countries where this is law.
Currently there is no requirement to provide negative lateral flow tests but mask wearing inside is required. Obviously current advice could change. Food and drink should be available in the stadium. We have asked if bagpipes are allowed and are waiting to find out. Note that only very small bags are permitted to be taken inside the stadium. There are no staggered egress plans for after the match.
If there are fans travelling to London without tickets then it is advised that they book pubs for watching the match. Again, it was made clear by the hosts in London that this will not be a normal trip and fans without tickets would really be better staying in Scotland to watch the game. Mass gatherings are not permitted in England under covid restrictions. Places such as Hyde Park have additional complications given their Royal Park status, and should be avoided.
A further meeting is scheduled for early June, and we will continue to provide updates from these sessions.
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