UEFA EURO 2020 chief medical officer Dr Zoran Bahtijarević and UEFA EURO 2020 medical advisor Dr Daniel Koch replicate on the influence of COVID-19 mitigation measures on the occasion, and reply a sequence of different key questions.
At this stage of the event, how do you decide the success of the COVID-19 mitigation measures which were put in place for the EURO?
Dr Bahtijarević: We don’t see any huge improve within the variety of instances throughout the EURO 2020 host venues, or in many of the international locations of the collaborating nations. This demonstrates that our measures are efficient and being carried out appropriately.
As soon as once more, we wish to stress that this EURO 2020 event carries a shared accountability between UEFA and the competent native authorities in every host venue, in addition to every particular person concerned within the event. Moreover, each ticket holder was requested to just accept a code of conduct, which particularly addresses all hygiene and security measures required to fulfil on the stadium.
The EURO has reached the knockout section – so there may be trigger for satisfaction on the work completed…
Dr Bahtijarević: UEFA has put in place a variety of mitigation measures and, to date, we’re glad with the general consequence. We’re always monitoring how these measures are working, and at any time when we see areas to enhance, we react along with the competent native authorities to deal with them.
Given the present state of affairs, has it been a bonus that the EURO is being staged in 11 international locations throughout Europe reasonably than in a single or two international locations?
Dr Koch: It shortly grew to become clear that the higher answer in the meanwhile, with this example, was to [stage the EURO] throughout Europe. As a result of if, someplace, one thing surprising occurred, it could be simpler to maneuver to a different place. Luckily, up till now, nothing [has] occurred which was so huge that we needed to say: ‘OK, we’ve got to go to those choices.’
How secure is it for followers to go to the EURO stadiums?
Dr Bahtijarević: No state of affairs exists in life through which we’re 100% secure. However I’d say that watching [matches] in stadiums is way safer, since you are watching in managed environment, through which UEFA and the native organisers have invested numerous effort to make the circumstances safer.
How dependable are the measures in place for followers?
Dr Koch: To begin with, UEFA doesn’t have the only real accountability both for spectators in a rustic, or for journey. It’s at all times a shared accountability with the authorities within the numerous international locations in addition to the people to respect all mitigation measures put in place for them.
Now, the query, finally, is whether or not it’s safer to have 65,000 folks in a stadium, or if it makes a distinction if it’s solely 20,000, or if it makes a distinction in any respect? I’ve to say that it relies on the native state of affairs and the measures that the nation has imposed, and particularly on the epidemiological state of affairs of the nation.
If we take a look at the international locations now, it’s very tough to forecast even two weeks [in advance], however for a very long time, the state of affairs in Europe has by no means been nearly as good as it’s now. It doesn’t mechanically imply that, if we’ve got folks within the stadium, this will increase the dangers. You go into the stadium with safety measures, you journey with safety measures, and that’s not making any distinction to the evolution of the epidemic in the meanwhile.
I believe it’s too straightforward simply to look both at [just] the virus or [just] at occasions. The hazard is there, and the hazard is way more advanced in such conditions, and it’s a must to perform a deep evaluation to take the fitting measures. In the intervening time, what we’ve got seen in Europe is that partly filling the stadiums is a secure factor to do. The EURO is a vital occasion, not solely as a result of it creates pleasure and happiness within the inhabitants, but in addition as a result of sport is necessary for younger folks. We won’t have youngsters and younger folks shifting sufficient or doing sufficient sports activities if we [distance] them from their idols, or if we lower out the place they get their inspiration from. I believe Europe has to return to some normality, as a result of for a wholesome inhabitants in Europe, sport is a vital difficulty.
Clearly along with the followers, the security of the groups and their gamers is of paramount significance…
Dr Bahtijarević: We have now strongly really useful that the groups respect the suggestions that we’ve got given them when it comes to staying of their ‘staff bubbles’ as a lot as doable. It’s of their greatest pursuits and within the pursuits of public well being.
Many groups will now be travelling to different international locations for the knockout matches, reasonably than staying in a single nation. Does this current any explicit issues?
Dr Bahtijarević: If the groups respect our suggestions, they’re truly travelling from their base camp, which is a ‘bubble’ and which needs to be a protected setting. They are going to be travelling utilizing their very own group of automobiles through which all of the drivers have been examined, and most of them are vaccinated too. They may fly on their very own constitution flight, and on the airport they’re utilizing particular boarding procedures, which can also be truly limiting their contact with the inhabitants. After they arrive in a rustic, they’ve a particular disembarkation process, they use their very own automobiles and journey to a protected setting on the lodge. I’d wish to take this chance to congratulate the groups on qualifying for the final 16…and would name on them as soon as once more to respect the measures in place, as a result of they’re there for his or her profit.
EURO COVID-19 mitigation measures : Key info and figures
A rundown of measures, activities and statistics showing how UEFA is committed to delivering a safe UEFA EURO 2020 for everybody concerned