International fans may be able to attend Euro 2020 matches in the UK without having to follow quarantine rules.
The government and Uefa are currently in discussions about allowing football VIPs to attend the final stages of the tournament without isolating.
The government has amended coronavirus regulations to allow "a Euro 2020 invitee" to travel to the tournament without "the obligation to self-isolate".
The exemptions cover members of the UEFA and FIFA executive, executives of organisations sponsoring the competition and representatives of countries competing in the championship.
On Wednesday afternoon, Downing Street did not rule out the prospect of international fans not having to quarantine. On Wednesday, the PM’s spokesperson said: “The rules for inbound travel are set out. Following the discussions with Uefa and PHE, we will set out the full detail.”
They also added that any breaches of coronavirus restrictions by Uefa officials in the UK would be punished with fines. “We wouldn’t do anything that compromises the safety of the public. Those who are eligible to come will be subject to a strict code of conduct," the spokesperson said.
Minister John Whittingdale says the government is still prioritising public health:
"You can expect that to include daily testing, staying in designated hotels, use of designated private transport and compliance with all other Covid restrictions, including social distancing, face coverings, and test, trace and isolation”.
Earlier on Wednesday, Media Minister John Whittingdale said any fans travelling to UK matches without isolating will not be allowed to “just go on a tour of Britain”.
He said “special dispensation” had to be made in order to host matches and that the government has already allowed teams and "people associated with teams" to come in without having to quarantine in order to compete.
He told ITV News: "UEFA want an additional number of officials and we are keen to be able to reach an agreement with them, but we’ll only do so if it is absolutely clear that we are not in any way putting at risk public health."
He insisted those who would be able to come into the country without quarantining would not be allowed to "just go on a tour of Britain whilst they're here".
Mr Whittingdale told ITV's Good Morning Britain: "They come in, they stay in a designated place, they attend the match, and then they leave. So it is for a specific purpose."
It follows a report in The Times which said the government was approaching a compromise deal that would require Uefa and Fifa officials, politicians, sponsors and broadcasters to agree to only attend football matches - effectively placing them in "bubbles".
Many VIPs are expected to fly in and out of the country on the same day, or stay overnight in hotels block-booked for the tournament, the paper reported.
The government announced on Tuesday that more than 60,000 football fans will be allowed to attend the semi-finals and final at Wembley if they have a negative Covid-19 test or prove they are double vaccinated.
Uefa is thought to be pushing for 2,500 VIPs to attend the competition's final on July 11 without being subjected to quarantine requirements that apply to other international travellers.
Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey criticises the plans:
The potential of allowing VIPs into the country without quarantine has drawn criticism from Labour.
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence John Healey told ITV News: "This will strike a lot of people as what we’ve seen from government throughout this pandemic, one rule for Boris Johnson, the big wigs, and one rule for the rest of us."
He added: "What we need is the government to sort out clear safe travel arrangements not just for Uefa officials but for all of us so that we can move safely, we can travel safely, we can go abroad safely."
Uefa officials have 'got this wildly wrong', says Ed Miliband
Ed Miliband, Shadow Business Secretary, said he believes Uefa have "got this wildly wrong" and the government "should stand up to them and just saying: We're not having it".
He said: "We cannot have one rule for VIP Uefa officials and another rule for everyone else.
"If officials are coming in, dignitaries are coming in, they should be subject to the same rules as everybody else, when it comes to football. And frankly, if they can't come, there will be lots of fans in Britain who will be happy to take up the tickets."
Earlier reports had suggested the final could be moved to Budapest if a deal could not be reached, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi also said that Rome could provide an alternative venue.
But in a statement, Uefa said: "Uefa, the English FA and the English authorities are working closely together successfully to stage the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 in Wembley and there are no plans to change the venue for those games."
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