Thousands of Scotland fans travelled to London on trains and buses for Euro 2020 football events while they were infected with Covid-19, reports the Scottish Sun.
Nearly 2,000 people who live in Scotland tested positive for Covid-19 after gathering to watch football Euro football matches this month. Many of the cases are people who traveled outside of the country to England to watch games.
Figures published on Tuesday by Public Health Scotland show 1,991 Scots confirmed to have Covid went to at least one “organised event” when they could have unknowingly spread the virus to others.
The health watchdog said it analysed Covid-19 test results taken between June 11 and 28, when Euro 2020 kicked off.
They contact traced cases and tagged people who either attended a match in London or went to a pub or someone’s house in the metropolis to watch a match.
Nearly two-thirds of positive cases, or 1,294 people, reported traveling to London for a Euro 2020 related event. That includes 397 people who attended the June 18 Scotland versus England match at Wembley.
Tens of thousands of Scotland fans are believed to have traveled to London for that match – even though Scotland was only allocated 2,600 tickets due to Covid-19 restrictions, BBC News reports.
Scottish fans were warned not to travel to London unless they had a ticket, but many went to the city in hopes of getting into Wembley or just to watch the match in a London pub.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon denied accusations the government was lenient on football fans while Scotland was in the Euro 2020 tournament.
“We haven’t taken a softly, softly approach,” she said during a press conference on Tuesday, according to BBC News. “We were very explicit in saying to fans who didn’t have a ticket for Wembley not to travel.”
She said, “We can’t physically stop every person travelling and significant numbers of fans did travel.”
On match day, when crowds of fans gathered in London’s Leicester Square, police began moving them on after halftime under Covid-19 social distancing regulations, BBC News reported.
One fan who was there told BBC Radio Scotland, “It was an amazing experience, but I am quite gutted because I got Covid because that has affected me, affected my work, affected my friends.”
While contact tracing cannot tell if a fan caught Covid-19 while gathering to watch a game or before going, it can be used to determine who should now isolate to further prevent the spread of the virus.