The World Health Organization expressed deep concern about the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by countries hosting Euro 2020 matches.
The UN organisation regretted “that some stadiums hosting the tournament are currently raising the number of spectators allowed to see a match.”
“In some of the host cities, COVID-19 cases are already on the rise in areas where matches are played,” Robb Butler, executive director of WHO Europe, said in a written statement.
Although the organisation didn’t cite any country in particular, the statements came as British authorities declared that more than 60,000 fans will be allowed into the semifinals and final of the European Championship at Wembley Stadium.
Commenting on the British announcement, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called for the EURO 2020 final to be moved out of London due to the spread of the Delta variant there.
However, the UN health body has only called for swift action in areas where new infections were on the rise.
“We must act quickly (…) by developing testing and sequencing, stepping up contact tracing and speeding up vaccination among vulnerable and most at-risk people,” said the UN health body.
In turn, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged UEFA to act responsibly regarding plans to hold the final in London due to safety concerns.
The UEFA responded by saying that it has “no plans” to change the venues for the semi-finals and finals.
“UEFA, the English FA and the English authorities are working closely together successfully to stage the semi-finals and final of EURO in Wembley and there are no plans to change the venue for those games,” a UEFA spokesperson told Reuters news agency.