Italy boost security at airports to stop England fans sneaking in

Italy boost security at airports and introduce border checkpoints and £2,500 fines to stop England fans sneaking in to watch Harry Kane’s men take on Ukraine in Rome on Saturday

  • Italian rules mean UK fans would need to self-isolate for 5 days upon arrival
  • Means it would be impossible for travelling Britons to attend Saturday’s match 
  • The Italian government has threatened rule-breakers with fines of up to £2,500 
  • Officials still fear crafty fans might try to enter Italy via neighbouring nations 
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here

Italy will boost airport security and set up border checkpoints to stop England fans from sneaking in to watch the Three Lion’s crunch Euro 2020 match with Ukraine in Rome.

Italian quarantine rules to slow the spread of the Delta, or Indian, variant mean arrivals from the UK need to self-isolate for five days upon arriving in the country.

This means it would be impossible for travelling Britons be out of quarantine in time for kickoff at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

While the Italian government has threatened rule-breakers with fines of up to £2,500 if they sneak in, officials still fear crafty fans might try to enter Italy via neighbouring European nations.

Italy will boost airport security (Fiumicino Airport in Rome, pictured) and set up border checkpoints to stop England fans from sneaking in to watch the Three Lion’s crunch Euro 2020 match with Ukraine in Rome

Italian quarantine rules to slow the spread of the Delta, or Indian, variant mean fans from the UK need to self-isolate for five days upon arriving in the country. This means it would be impossible for travelling Britons be out of quarantine in time for kickoff at the Stadio Olimpico (pictured) on Saturday 

While the Italian government has threatened rule-breakers with fines of up to £2,500 if they sneak in, officials still fear crafty fans might try to enter Italy via neighbouring European nations. Pictured: England fans in Leicester Square

Prefect of Rome Matteo Piantedosi has been in communication with police bosses to ensure safety measures are in place for the game.

Undersecretary for the Italian Ministry of Health Andrea Costa told The Sun: ‘The rules are clear and concise – English fans will not be able to travel to Italy.

‘There are currently five days of obligatory quarantine on arrival, so unless fans arrived before June 28 and completed quarantine, there is no point travelling to Rome.

‘Those that do attempt it and are caught will be fined and punished.’

It was announced yesterday that the FA will not sell any of the 2,500 tickets made available for England fans to anyone with a UK address.

They have handed their allocation back to UEFA, who are working with the British embassy in Rome to ensure the tickets are sold exclusively to expats. 

A rush for tickets was sparked after England’s triumphant 2-0 win against Germany in Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.

Vadym Prystaiko said supporters will fly into Italy for the match on Saturday because they are a ‘green zone’ travel country due to a lack of Covid cases there

Ukrainian ambassador to the UK Mr Prystaiko told the BBC: ‘Sorry to say but our people will find it easier travelling in. We are in the green zone for Europeans and we have so many Ukrainians to support them.’ Pictured: Fans at the Ukraine/Austria match on June 21

In reference to his side’s game against Sweden in Scotland last night (pictured), he said: ‘I was actually surprised yesterday how many of us were here at the Glasgow stadium’

England fans cannot go to Rome for Euros quarter-final due to Covid rules – but an army of expats might step in

Britons living in locations including Munich, Germany, were among those seeking seats at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Germany is participating in the EU digital Covid-19 certificate scheme which proves travellers have been vaccinated against the virus, or that they have returned a negative test in the 48 hours before travel.

As long as the traveller then fills out the EU passenger locator form, they are free to enter Italy without five days of quarantine. 

Can England fans travel to Rome for Euro 2020 quarter-final?  

England’s 2-0 victory over Germany booked them a slot in the Euro 2020 quarter finals in Rome – but don’t go booking yourself a city break just yet.

Italy’s Covid-19 restrictions mean that most England fans will struggle to get to the showdown with Ukraine.

Here is what you need to know before jumping on a plane.

– I just want to be in Rome, can I book a flight?

Before you splash the cash, bear in mind you have to have proof of a negative coronavirus test taken in the 48 hours before you travel.

Upon arrival, UK passengers must fill in one the of the European Union’s passenger locator forms, before hunkering down for five days of isolation.

Even if you touch down first thing on Wednesday, the earliest you will be out is Sunday – subject to a second Covid-19 test – meaning you will probably be watching the game from a hotel room.

– Are there any exceptions?

The only way you are likely to avoid the isolation requirement is if you are a member of transport crew, or can prove that you are in Italy for ‘work, health or emergency’.

If you fall into any of those categories, you can enter Italy but must leave within five days.

Passengers transiting through the country are also exempt, as long as they have left Italy within 36 hours, as are EU officials, diplomats and international students returning to study.

– If things had been different, would the German fans have had the same trouble?

No. Germany is participating in the EU digital Covid-19 certificate scheme.

The scheme proves that the carrier has been vaccinated against the virus, or that they have returned a negative test in the 48 hours before travel.

As long as the traveller then fills out the EU passenger locator form, they would be free to enter Italy without five days of quarantine.

– What if I decide to flout the rules?

Breaking the rules could be pricey; anyone caught trying to end their five day quarantine period without proof of a negative test risks a 450 euros fine (£386), the Times reported.

Those who skip quarantine all together could face a much tougher penalty – last year, Italy introduced fines of 3,000 euros (£2,580) for anyone who even tried to travel between regions, let alone cross its borders.

– If I can get myself there, where can I get a ticket?

That could be tricky. The FA has said it will not be selling tickets for the match to the England Supporters Travel Club (ESTC) – the official body of away support – due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Instead it is hoping to get as many as tickets to England expats in Italy to make sure the team isn’t playing in front of silent stands on Saturday, the Guardian reported.

The statement said: ‘Unfortunately, the FA will not be selling any tickets via the ESTC for this fixture given the travel restrictions in place across both countries, and as such are working with Uefa and the British embassy in Italy to facilitate as many ticket sales to English residents in Italy as possible.’

– What do I have to do on my way home?

Fans who overcome all obstacles to get themselves to Rome by Saturday will still have to self-isolate for 10 days upon return, as Italy is on the UK’s amber list.

Returning travellers will have to book a Covid-19 test for day two and day eight of their quarantine before flying.

Passengers can also use the ‘test to release’ scheme where they pay for a private Covid-19 swab on day five of their quarantine – if the results on both day two and day five are negative, you can end your quarantine.

The Government website says people should not travel to amber list countries or territories.

Meanwhile, others in Dubai were also looking to capitalise on the scramble for tickets hoping to take advantage of a bilateral travel corridor that opened between United Arab Emirates and Italy last month. 

Travel experts warned fans against trying to take advantage of loopholes – including for business – because they risk watching the game from their hotel rooms and even missing the semi-final and final. 

While the Football Association has been given 2,560 tickets for the match, Downing Street has urged fans not to travel to Rome for England’s Euro 2020 quarter-final tie with Ukraine on Saturday.

Those cheering for England in attendance will make up just 16 per cent of the agreed 16,000 capacity at the Stadio Olimpico in the Italian capital – and it is understood the FA are trying to sell tickets to Brits currently living in Italy.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘People should not be travelling to amber list countries.

‘Obviously we appreciate how fans will want to do everything possible to support the England team but we do need to balance that against the need to protect public health.

‘We would urge everyone to comply with the guidelines and rules that we have in place.’

Commenting on the ticket chaos this morning, the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK taunted England supporters who are banned from travelling to Italy for the huge match.

Vadym Prystaiko bragged his supporters could get into the country because they are in the ‘green zone’ and would be piling into the Stadio Olympico in Rome. 

One lucky England fan said he will be attending the match on Saturday in Rome without fear of Covid quarantine as he will be travelling from Germany.

Luke Curner, who lives in Helmstedt but is originally from Folkestone, Kent, bought the tickets in 2019 as the match fell on his birthday weekend – which it still does despite rescheduling.

‘I’m excited to be seeing England in a major championship but at the same time I’m sad that it won’t have the same atmosphere due to the lack of English supporters being allowed to travel,’ the 36-year-old German language student said.

‘I’m very lucky to be in an EU country allowing me to travel with few restrictions. It was great watching the game in Germany, although my whole neighbourhood knows I must be English and my wife hates me for waking our children up when England scored – luckily I am taking her to Rome for the match so she can’t hate me for too long.’  

However, another fan with tickets said he was frustrated that he cannot attend due to Covid travel restrictions.

Warrick Howard, from Leicestershire, purchased tickets through the ballot system in 2019 for 140 euros each, but his plans for the match have been curtailed by Italy’s five-day quarantine requirement for UK arrivals.

‘Given the huge push to have everyone vaccinated there were ways of making this work for fans attending this tournament, but Uefa and the EU have made no effort to do so,’ the 37-year-old said.

‘I guess they were too busy organising thousands of “no quarantine required” exemptions for their couple of thousand VIPs. I thought about flying out to Italy on Sunday June 27 and doing my five-day quarantine in an AirBnB apartment so I’d be free for the game if England did make it through… but that would have required a week off work.’ 

Expats in Dubai were the first to break cover and reveal their hopes of cheering on the national team from the stadium on Saturday.

One fan wrote on Twitter: ‘It’s okay, plenty of expats heading from Dubai since we can’t go home but can go to Italy!’ Another added: ‘Dubai-Rome-Dubai on Saturday is feeling very tempting.’

The UAE and Italy signed a bilateral travel corridor which opened at the start of last month, meaning passengers do not have to quarantine on arrival.

All flyers have to have a rapid Covid test two days before they leave and if they test negative can move into the country without hassle.

But if their result comes back positive then they have to isolate at a quarantine hotel in the country like other passengers.

It means Britons who live in the UAE or have been there for the past two weeks can fly into Rome and attend the game on Saturday if they test negative. 


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