London: The Euro 2020 soccer final between England and Italy in July was a superspreader event due to the level of COVID-19 infection found in or around London’s Wembley Stadium on the day, according to official data published on Saturday (AEST).
Public Health England said 2295 people were likely to have been infectious when they attended the July 11 match, with 3404 people potentially acquiring infection then.
“Euros final was superspreader event,” declared The Times.
The match, with a crowd of around 67,000 inside the stadium, was England’s first final in an international soccer tournament since the country hosted and won the 1966 World Cup.
Some 2092 people likely acquired their infections at the semi-final won by England. Further infections were connected to other events linked to the month-long championship, including other games and entertainment. In their paper, the researchers said in total 6784 people acquired COVID-19 during the tournament.
“Data from the Euro 2020 matches hosted at Wembley identified very high numbers of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and were traced through NHS Test and Trace. This included both individuals who were potentially infectious (3071) and those who acquired their infection during the time of the tournament (6784),” they wrote.
“Euro 2020 was a unique occasion and it is unlikely we would see a similar impact on COVID-19 cases from future events,” said Jenifer Smith, Public Health England’s deputy medical director, in a statement.
“However, the data does show how easily the virus can spread when there is close contact and this should be a warning to us all as we try and return to a cautious normality once again.”