Football fans have been urged not to travel to London for Scotland’s Euro 2020 clash with England unless they have a ticket or a safe place to watch the game.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has joined forces with sports minister Nigel Huddleston and the Scottish Government to urge fans to exercise caution in a bid to avoid a spike in Covid cases.
It comes as cases of the Delta variant first identified in India continue to rise.
Scotland fans will not be able to access the traditional meeting spot of Trafalger Square as it is being used as a ticketed fan zone for key workers, with the screen not visible to anyone without access.
Capacity will also be limited at pubs and bars, as they will only be able to serve customers seated and at tables.
Fans have also been reminded that police will act against any antisocial and disorderly behaviour in London.
Sadiq Khan said: “It is absolutely fantastic that Scotland are playing in their first international tournament for 23 years – and I cannot wait for Friday’s match.
“Scottish fans are renowned around the world for bringing a party atmosphere with them to the big tournaments but with Covid restrictions still in place on both sides of the border, the best thing for fans without tickets to the game or a safe place to watch it is to enjoy the game from Scotland and not come to London.
“In an ideal world I would welcome the Tartan Army to London for this match with open arms – but with Covid cases increasing, and with so much at stake as we fight this awful virus, I’m afraid that it just cannot be this time, so the best thing to do is not to come to London and instead enjoy the game at home .”
Scottish culture minister Jenny Gilruth said: “I know for many of us Euro 2020 will be one of the highlights of the summer and an opportunity to support our national team.
“There will also be huge interest in the Scotland v England game at Wembley, but we must continue to be cautious – and I strongly urge fans to only travel if you have a ticket or a safe place to watch the match from.
“Although we have made great progress, we all still have an important part to play in making sure we keep the virus under control. So I urge all football fans to plan in advance how you are going to safely enjoy the tournament.”
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said: “There is a real sense of excitement building for Friday’s game between Scotland and England. It’s going to be a historic moment for both teams, the fans lucky enough to be at Wembley Stadium and fans watching across the country.
“But we continue to advise fans without tickets to enjoy the match close to home and not travel to London unless you have somewhere already finalised to watch the game safely.”
Government rules mean just over 20,000 fans will be allowed in Wembley Stadium and less than 1000 in the Trafalgar Square fan zone.
Any fans travelling are advised to follow travel guidance in their region and adhere to the wider guidance around social distancing at all times.
Testing is required before travel for those attending the match and those without tickets are encouraged to utilise free rapid testing.