The Euro 2020 fan zone in Glasgow will be one of the safest places to watch the tournament, an official has said.
Up to 6,000 people a day, split into two sessions, will gather in the fan zone in Glasgow Green to watch matches on every day of the tournament, which is the first the Scotland men’s team have qualified for in more than two decades.
Concerns have been raised about the safety of the event amid the pandemic, with fans not required to take a lateral flow test before attending.
Public health expert Professor Linda Bauld, of the University of Edinburgh, has warned the fan zone is “not without risk”, though Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has insisted it is a “low-risk event”.
Chris Weitz, senior sport development officer at Glasgow Life, said he is confident it will be a safe environment.
He told the PA news agency: “We’re expecting people to come to the fan zone and enjoy the games in what I would describe as one of the safest places they could come to watch the football matches, we’re outside, the tables are separated, two metres social distancing.
“This fan zone will be one of the safest places to watch the Euro matches and we are very confident of that and we’ve worked so hard to ensure that will remain so for the 31 days.”
The event area has a capacity of 80,000 but just 3,000 fans are permitted at each of the two sessions per day, with a break between them to allow the site to be cleaned.
Physical distancing measures will be in place across the fan zone and spectators will be required to wear a face covering when moving around Glasgow Green, though they can be removed when seated at their table in the Beverage Garden or seated or standing in the family area.
Mr Yousaf has said Glasgow City Council will contact every fan zone ticket-holder to encourage them to take a lateral flow test at home before attending.
He urged everyone with a ticket to any session to test before arrival.
“This should be taken at home less than 48 hours before attending.”
A fan zone festival will also take place over 23 days of the tournament, with entertainment such as music, comedy and dance when there are no matches and on the majority of afternoons when there is only an evening match.
Euro 2020 is being played at venues across Europe this summer – including Hampden Park in Glasgow – after being postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, following a meeting with fan zone organisers, Mr Yousaf announced a review team had been created to continuously monitor safety at the event.
He said: “Planning has been meticulous to minimise the risks of transmission.
“The venue is outdoors with capacity for more than 25 times the number of tickets for each session, allowing for ample physical distancing.
“In addition, there are comprehensive stewarding, cleaning and contact tracing provisions in place and everyone attending will also be asked to take up the offer of twice-weekly rapid lateral flow testing.
“As we have always said, the situation with the virus will be continually monitored during Euro 2020 and as part of that ongoing work I have today set up a review team, made up of the Government, city council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Public Health to provide continuous advice on the ability of the fan zone to continue to operate safely.”