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Coronavirus (COVID-19): the policing response and what you need to know

Fans urged to keep safe ahead of Euro 2020 kick-off

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Football supporters are being urged to not fall foul of COVID regulations during the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament.

Home Nations England, Scotland and Wales are among the 24 teams taking part in the competition, which kicks off tomorrow (Friday 11 June) in Rome.

Regulations outlined by the Government in step three of the COVID-19 roadmap remain in place at the start of the tournament, meaning there are restrictions on meeting people indoors.

People are therefore being encouraged to familiarise themselves with the rules and public health advice that are in place to keep everyone safe.

Euro 2020 was postponed by 12 months due to COVID-19 and will see games played in 12 different cities. The final will be staged in the UK at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 11 July.

Throughout the football competition we will be providing high-profile reassurance patrols to ensure any potential problems, both around COVID-19 and other police matters, are dealt with robustly.

This includes antisocial behaviour and violence, domestic abuse and drink-driving, which can be linked to the football tournament. Offenders will be arrested and we will seek football banning orders from the courts.

Victims of domestic abuse are urged to come forward and report incidents so that they can be provided with advice and support, as well as allowing us to investigate.

Those who decide to watch matches in pubs need to ensure they are able to get home safely – and not behind the wheel of a vehicle if they have been drinking. Driving after consuming alcohol increases the chances of a collision resulting in serious injury or a fatality, while a conviction for drink driving might result in the driver not only losing their licence but possibly their job as well.

Operation Tonic, our drink-drive enforcement operation, will be taking place throughout the tournament’s duration.

Chief Inspector Debbie Palmer-Lawrence said: “We have well-practised plans in place for the duration of the tournament, including high-visibility proactive patrols, to allow people to enjoy themselves but importantly stay safe.

“We fully understand people’s desire to watch the Euro 2020 matches with friends and family. Few people have been able to attend games or socialise and watch matches together over the past year and we’re not trying to stop people having fun.

“However, we would ask the public and businesses to make sure they comply with legal restrictions around COVID-19 throughout the tournament and follow the current health advice.

“The vast majority of people are continuing to follow the rules and guidance and for that we’re grateful. Our 4Es approach of engaging with the public, explaining the rules and encouraging people to comply remains in place, with enforcement an option for repeat or blatant breaches of the rules through fixed penalty notices.

“I’m sure all England fans will agree penalties are best avoided both on and off the pitch over the next month.”