The Euro 2020 final at Wembley will go ahead with more than 60,000 fans despite figures showing thousands of COVID cases linked to supporters, Kwasi Kwarteng has said.
The business secretary told Sky News the fixture will “absolutely” take place as arranged, with the 90,000-seat stadium expected to be filled at 75% of its capacity.
Mr Kwarteng’s comments came as nearly 2,000 COVID cases in Scotland were linked to football fans watching Euro 2020 fixtures.
Of the 1,991 cases registered by Public Health Scotland (PHS), two-thirds said they had travelled to London to watch England v Scotland on 18 June.
A total of 397 of these were fans at the game at Wembley Stadium.
But despite the outbreak linked to the previous tournament fixture, Mr Kwarteng said he is sure that at least 60,000 fans will be able to attend the final on Sunday 11 July due to the protection COVID vaccines offer.
Asked if the proposal will go ahead as planned, he told Sky News: “Absolutely. The key to the outbreak, the key to dealing with the coronavirus is the vaccination.
“So I’d urge anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated to get their first dose – anyone over 18 – and people should be encouraged to get the second dose.
“That is what is giving us the protection we need to fight this terrible virus.”
Cases in Scotland were tagged if they attended either a Euro 2020 organised event, such as a match at Hampden or Wembley or the fanzone at Glasgow Green, or an informal gathering such as a pub or a house party to watch a match.
The figures show nearly three-quarters – or 1,470 cases – with a Euro 2020 tag are people aged 20 to 39, and nine in 10 are men.
It comes as the government has warned England fans to watch their side’s quarter-final clash with Ukraine on Saturday safely – and not attempt to travel to the match in Rome.
Speaking to Sky News, government minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan called on England fans to “watch from home and to cheer on the team as loudly as you can”.
England will play Ukraine in Italy on Saturday evening after knocking Germany out of the competition in front of 40,000 fans at Wembley.
If the Three Lions defeat their opponents, they would play their semi-final match back on home turf in London.