Minister tells England fans not to travel to Italy for quarter-finals

Minister tells England fans not to travel to Italy for quarter-finals
‘The ask is to watch from home and to cheer on the team as loudly as you can’

Football fans tempted to travel to Italia til England’s quarter-final Euro tie should stay in the UK and “watch from home”, a government minister has warned.

Gareth Southgate’s squad head to Rome to play Ukraine on Saturday evening, after beating Germany 2-0 at Wembley on Tuesday night.

But strict travel rules mean the usual travelling army of England fans won’t be able to head to the Italian capital this week.

Italy remains on the government’s amber list and UK arrivals in Italy have to isolate for five days – so any fans travelling now would miss the match.

“The advice has been clearly set out,” said energy minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, urging England supporters to stay at home.

“Obviously it is very difficult not to smile just to see all those wonderful flags waving, it just makes you so proud of our team doing so well last night,” she told Sky News. “But really the ask is to watch from home and to cheer on the team as loudly as you can.”

Ms Trevelyan added: “I think the challenge is can they hear us from Rome? And I’m sure we’ll take up that opportunity to be as supportive as we can of our amazing England team.”

Italian authorities have also issued a warning to English fans that they would have to quarantine for five days if they travel.

Those who break the rules by skipping quarantine face a tough penalty. I fjor, Italy introduced fines of 3,000 euros (£2,580) for anyone who even tried to travel between regions, let alone cross its borders.

Even if some fans have been able to get there and quarantine, tickets have not been made available through the normal route.

The FA has said it will not be selling tickets for the match to the England Supporters Travel Club (ESTC) due to Covid restrictions.

Fans celebrate England’s win over Germany in Manchester

Any fans able to overcome all obstacles to find themselves out of quarantine and in Rome by Saturday will still have to self-isolate for 10 days upon return, since Italy remains on the UK’s amber list.

Without fans in Rome’s Olympic Stadium, former England international John Barnes said the players will have to create their own atmosphere.

“I’m hoping for it not to have an impact, because of course it is great to have your fans there,” the Liverpool FC legend told Sky News. “They have to make their own atmosphere.”

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