Pub landlords across England are being threatened with £1,000 fines by council killjoys under coronavirus restrictions if football fans watching the Euro 2020 clash on Friday night sing, chant or boo.
Unlike previous football tournaments, supporters are not allowed to cram into pubs and bars in England this year as a result of shutdown measures which were extended this week by another month, to July 19.
Under current restrictions, all drinks must be served by table service only, face masks are required when walking inside and the so-called ‘rule of six’ will apply indoors at socially-distanced tables.
It means that pub landlords could be punished by officials if England and Scotland football fans get too rowdy – or even cheer or boo – in free houses across the country, including in London and Manchester.
The restrictions – together with rain forecast to continue overnight and into tomorrow – could help to dampen the drama of the Friday night clash between the oldest rivals in the history of football, who will be facing off for the first time at a tournament since 1996 at Wembley Stadium tomorrow night at 8pm.
Pub landlord Leon Kelly, who owns Level One in Darwen, Lancashire, was visited by licensing officers from Darwen Council ahead of last weekend’s match between England and Croatia.
Mr Kelly, who has previously owned Level One venues in Accrington and Burnley, obtained an 18-month road closure in April to allow him to set up a large marquee at the front of his bar.
The marquee, which can seat 96 people, also boasts two big screens so customers can watch the games while enjoying a beer outside. But when the officers visited he says they told him he must stop customers from booing, chanting or cheering while watching the football to reduce the risk of passing on Covid-19.
He said: ‘I just sort of looked at them like ‘What?!” How on earth am I supposed to do that? Do I pause when someone’s about to take a shot on goal and warn everyone to keep quiet?’
Mr Kelly, who is set to open a second venue nearby, told the officers he would have ‘no chance’ of being able to stop people cheering if England scored. ‘I told them, just give me the fine now,’ he added.
It comes as thousands of boozed-up fans draped in flags and wearing Scotland jerseys were seen chanting ‘we hate f***ing England’ as they jumped into the William Shakespeare fountain in Leicester Square, while others partied hard in Hyde Park – some naked – ahead of the match.
Supporters poured off trains at King’s Cross Station today, despite just 2,800 tickets being sold to Scotland fans, after Mayor Sadiq Khan pleaded with ticketless supporters to ‘enjoy the game from Scotland’. He previously said fans would provide a needed boost to London’s hard-hit hospitality sector.
Fans react to England’s second goal from Dele Alli in the FIFA World Cup 2018 quarter-final match between Sweden and England at the Rose & Crown pub, Wimbledon
However, licensing officers from Darwen Council threatened pub landlord Leon Kelly, who owns Level One in Darwen, with £1,000 fines if football fans sing, cheer or boo
Scotland football supporters light flares in Leicester Square, central London, ahead of the Uefa clash tomorrow
A naked Scottish fan is arrested by police as they congregate in Hyde Park, London ahead of the Uefa clash tomorrow
Daily Covid cases hit 11,007 – the highest figure since FEBRUARY – as infections and hospitalisations spike by nearly 50% in a week amid rapid spread of Indian variant – despite signs outbreak may be slowing down
Britain today breached 11,000 coronavirus cases for the first time since February as the Indian variant continues to spread across the country.
Department of Health bosses posted 11,007 positive tests, up 48.9 per cent on last Thursday’s figure of 7,393 and the highest daily total since February 19 (12,027).
Coronavirus hospitalisations also spiked by 45 per cent in the space of the week, with the outbreak now starting to put pressure back on some parts of the NHS where the mutant strain is spreading quickest. There were 222 Covid admissions on Sunday – the latest day data is available for – up from 153 the previous week.
Meanwhile, deaths have more than doubled in a week, with 19 victims today compared to seven last Thursday.
Despite the gloomy figures and fears of a third wave rivalling the crises seen last spring and in January, there are positive signs the outbreak may already be slowing.
A symptom-tracking study today estimated 15,760 people are now getting sick with coronavirus each day – up only a third in a week after doubling in the previous seven-day spell. One of the experts behind the surveillance project claimed cases may even peak within the next fortnight.
And Separate Public Health England data released today revealed infections are falling in a dozen council areas of the country, including the delta variant hotspots of Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen and Bedford. Ministers have launched a testing blitz across swathes of the country to crack down on the mutant strain.
Gary Johnston, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s Service Lead for Environment and Public Protection, said that as the Level One marquee is partially enclosed ‘singing and shouting’ would increase the risk of transmitting coronavirus.
‘Our licensing officers did carry out visits before the game to make sure that venues would be as safe as possible for people watching the football,’ he said.
‘People were obviously looking forward to watching England play and we wanted to make sure that all bases were covered to help people do this safely.
‘Government guidance to pubs and other similar venues states that singing, shouting and aerobic activities generate higher levels of aerosol and increase the risk of transmission further. You should consider these factors when ensuring you have adequate ventilation in the workplace.
‘Lowering background noise, including music, reduces the need for people to sit close or shout. This can reduce the risk of airborne virus emissions and transmission.
‘This would be less of an issue in the open air but the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant still makes it relevant and as this event was held in a partially enclosed marquee it was important to make sure all regulations were followed.
‘We still have a high number of cases in the borough and I am sure that venues want to do everything possible to keep their customers and staff safe. We would certainly expect a venue to consider all this as part of its Covid-19 risk assessment, and a clear failure to protect staff and customers could potentially lead to action under Health and Safety legislation.’
The Department for Business had previously said that government guidelines will not change this weekend, with a spokesperson adding: ‘Pubs should continue to adhere to current advice, including ensuring customers remain seated and social distancing is maintained at all times between different groups of customers. Public safety must remain our priority.’
Current rules set by Downing Street mean that music in a pub should be played at a low level to prevent any shouting, singing or dancing occurring over the top of it, to lower transmission of the virus.
The Government’s guidance covers any hospitality venue for that matter – so it is not just pubs, and includes restaurants, bars and similar places serving food or drink as well.
Owners and staff at venues will have to adhere to the rules and make sure punters are obeying them too. As a result, fans will not be able to sing the usual chants that would normally be part of the atmosphere found at the pub during a big football match.
The British Beer and Pub Association surveyed 1,000 pub-goers and 85 per cent of supporters have said coronavirus restrictions will ruin watching the Euros down at the local.
The decision to extend lockdown by at least another month was met with fury by Britain’s hospitality and entertainment powerhouses, who blasted Boris Johnson’s last-minute U-turn on Freedom Day saying the decision to delay will cost them billions and could see 200,000-plus jobs go this summer.
Pubs, restaurants and theatres fear they will lose tens of thousands of pounds or more in revenue for every week lockdown is extended as well as draining the public purse by using the furlough scheme due to end on July 1.
Businesses have been gearing up for a bounce-back summer fuelled by Britons desperate to return to normality – and bolstered by extra cash not spent while at home – as well as three of the four home nations playing in Euro 2020, which was cancelled last year.
Rolling lockdowns and 15 months of closures have already cost the hospitality industry £87billion in lost sales, and reduced the number of people working in the sector by 660,000. There are 25,000 venues unable to open, 300,000 staff on furlough, and business owe £6billion in rent they haven’t been able to pay during the pandemic.
The average number of people testing positive each day (yellow bars) appears to have stopped accelerating as rapidly as it had in May and early June, with the rate of increase (red line) now showing that there are smaller increases each day, suggesting the outbreak is still growing but not as quickly as it was
Could we be free on July 5? Number 10 opens the door to early release from lockdown IF the data keeps improving – as jabs are shown to work better than predicted and rise of Covid infections show signs of slowing
Lockdown could end two weeks early if Covid data continues to improve, the Mail has been told.
Downing Street has opened the door to ending restrictions on July 5, amid growing evidence that assumptions used by government scientists to justify delaying Freedom Day were too pessimistic.
Real-world data on the effectiveness of the vaccines has proved to be far better than the assumptions used by scientists who drew up alarming models predicting tens of thousands of extra deaths.
And although cases of the Indian variant are still rising, the rate of growth has fallen dramatically in recent days as surge testing and vaccinations are stepped up in hotspot areas.
While ministers believe a July 19 reopening remains the most likely option, a government source said a two-week ‘review point’ demanded by Boris Johnson will now be a ‘genuine review of the data’, which could lead to Freedom Day being brought forward to July 5.
The source told the Mail: ‘The decision to delay reopening was so finely balanced – probably the most difficult decision of the whole pandemic – that the PM wanted a review point built in so that if things did change we could move sooner.
‘No-one wants these restrictions in place for a day longer than necessary.’
The Prime Minister has been accused of betraying his promise that England would see all Covid restrictions lifted on June 21 – and is expected to delay this for four weeks to July 19, meaning by then the country will have been in lockdown of varying degrees for 16 months.
David Page, boss of Fulham Shore, owners of the Franco Manca and Real Greek chains, blasted Mr Johnson’s last minute U-turn with just a week until the date they have spent a fortune preparing for. He said that the business had called staff off furlough ahead of the big reopening and may have to put them back on again depending how long the delay is.
‘It’ll stop us trading at full capacity. I quite understand that the Government may have their reasons for doing it but it would be nice to give people a bit more warning rather than a week and leaking or briefing various proposals’, he said.
‘To get a restaurant or a pub ready you need two or three weeks – you can’t just leave it to the last week’.
Impresario Sir Howard Panter, co-founder of theatre operator Trafalgar Entertainment, said the industry will suffer ‘significant damage’ if the final lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England is put on hold.
He told the PA news agency: ‘The reality is we have marched the troops up the hill. We have mobilised a whole industry in order to get going because we have been keeping the industry going for the last 15 months.
‘It costs money. We haven’t had Government help. We have kept it going. And now, surprise, surprise, the industry needs some income. People need work.
‘Thousands of people have been mobilised in order to work in the theatre industry, to start work from next Monday and now we are being told, apparently, ‘Oh no, it’s not that date. It may be some other date, we don’t really know’.’
He said he is clear about the ‘significant damage to the theatre industry and all related industries’.
Zoe Kernow, boss of the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, which is outdoors and was visited by the wives and partners of the G7 leaders over the weekend. Ms Kernow said they are losing up to £60,000 a week because of social distancing.
She said: ‘We have been treated perversely throughout this road map because despite the emphasis on outdoor being safer we’re being treated like an indoor venue.
‘We’re operating at 35 per cent of our capacity – which depending on ticket pricing is a loss of £40,000 to £60,000 per week. We’re coming into peak outdoor theatre season’.
Kate Harl, of the Bean Inn in St Ives, which has a celebrated vegan and vegetarian menu, says the Government needs to provide more financial support.
She said of the likely four-week delay: ‘It means we’ll be operating at a greatly reduced capacity so obviously our ability to earn is severely restricted. So the number of covers we’ll be doing will be down around 40 per cent.
‘We need to look at other ways to make money so we’ve been doing meal kits and takeaways to supplement that (loss) and we’ve been trying to cut back on our staffing as much as possible and do as much work as we can do ourselves so are working very long hours to compensate for that really.
‘It feels like we’re treading water – we’re not able to progress and make a decent profit. I feel that we’re not at risk of going under but it’s very very difficult.
She added: ‘I’m resigned to it (the delay) – but the businesses in hospitality and entertainment have to be properly supported through this. We are having to turn away people’.
Tartan Army crackdown: Met issues DISPERSAL order for central London giving officers power to remove troublemakers as 20,000 ticketless Scotland supporters flood into capital for England match despite pleas to stay away
The Metropolitan Police yesterday issued a 48-hour dispersal in central London order giving officers the power to remove troublemakers as 20,000 ticketless Scotland football supporters flood into the capital ahead of Friday night’s Euro 2020 clash against England at Wembley Stadium.
Thousands of boozed-up fans draped in flags and wearing Scotland jerseys were seen chanting ‘we hate f***ing England’ as they jumped into the William Shakespeare fountain in Leicester Square, while others partied hard in Hyde Park – some naked – ahead of the 8pm match on Friday.
Supporters poured off trains at King’s Cross Station yesterday, despite just 2,800 tickets being sold to Scotland fans, after Mayor Sadiq Khan pleaded with ticketless supporters to ‘enjoy the game from Scotland’. He previously said fans would provide a needed boost to London’s hard-hit hospitality sector.
The Mayor’s warnings that the influx of people would cause a ‘serious risk’ of spreading Covid-19 prompted pubs to cancel bookings, while London Ambulance Service admitted it had no plans to have an increased amount of medics on standby as a mass party broke out in Hyde Park.
Glasgow was previously a hotspot for the so-called Indian coronavirus variant, but has since been downgraded from its high alert status. Though most of Scotland was recently lowered to Level One in the county’s five-tier system, 13 council areas are in Level Two as the virus surges.
Scotland Yard has now issued a Section 35 Dispersal Order until 3pm on Saturday, in anticipation of ‘anti-social behaviour’. The order gives a police constable and a police community support officer the power to exclude a person from an area for 48 hours with an Inspector’s authority.
With rain expected to pour all night into Friday, celebrations could be dampened – meaning that police could have less on their hands than they might otherwise expect ahead of the Euro 2020 clash.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman tweeted this evening: ‘Due to the high profile UEFA EURO Football match between England & Scotland on Friday 18th June at 8pm and the anticipated anti-social behaviour this may bring, a section 35 dispersal authority has been implemented.
‘This has been authorised by Inspector Dodds from 1500 hours 17/06/21 till 1500 hours 19/06/21 in the West End area in an attempt to reduce the likelihood of members of the public being caused alarm harassment and distress and the occurrence of criminality in the local area.’
Scotland football fans climb the William Shakespeare fountain in Leicester Square, central London ahead of the Uefa clash
Scotland football fans climb the William Shakespeare fountain in Leicester Square, central London ahead of the Uefa clash
Scotland football supporters light flares in Leicester Square, central London, ahead of the Uefa clash
Scotland football fans party in the pouring rain in Leicester Square, central London ahead of the Uefa clash
Scotland football fans party into the night in Leicester Square, central London ahead of the Uefa clash
A topless Scotland football fan is drench in beer in the rain in Leicester Square, central London ahead of the Uefa clash
Scotland football fans party into the night in Leicester Square, central London ahead of the Uefa clash
Police on patrol in Leicester Square as Scotland football fans sing and drink in the rain in central London
A Scotland supporter speaks with an England supporter wearing a beer box on his head before the Uefa clash
Two people ride the back of a Metropolitan Police van in Leicester Square ahead of the Euro 2020 clash with England
A topless Scotland football supporter falls over in the pouring rain in Leicester Square, central London
Scotland football fans bend over the William Shakespeare fountain in Leicester Square ahead of the Uefa clash
A Scotland football supporter laughs in front of a Metropolitan Police officer in Leicester Square, central London
Scotland football fans party in Leicester Square amid the pouring rain ahead of the Uefa clash with England
A naked Scottish fan is arrested by police as they congregate in Hyde Park, London ahead of the Uefa clash
Scotland football fans light flares and sing and dance in Hyde Park in central London ahead of the football clash
Scotland football fans are seen drinking and jumping into the William Shakespeare fountain in Leicester Square, London
Scotland football fans are seen drinking and celebrating at the Shakespeare fountain in central London this evening
Scotland fans drinking and singing in the William Shakespeare fountain in Leicester Square, central London
Scottish football fans arrive in London for the European Championship clash with England at Wembley Stadium
Scotland football fans are seen drinking and singing in Leicester Square ahead of the Euro 2020 clash
Scotland fans arrive at King’s Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London ahead of the Uefa clash at Wembley
Scotland fans chanting outside King’s Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London
The Metropolitan Police have issued a dispersal order giving officers the power to remove troublemakers from central London
Vast swathes of fans – several not wearing masks – were seen flooding off trains as they arrived in the capital
Football fans in Leicester Square pouring washing up liquid into the William Shakespeare fountain tonight
A Scotland football fan sits in a chair in the William Shakespeare fountain in Leicester Square in London
A Scotland fan holds up the flag of Scotland with the word ‘Yes’ written across it, associated with the campaign for Scotland’s independence from the UK, outside King’s Cross Station
One man appeared to have climbed on top of a sign in King’s Cross Station in London as fans gathered
Scotland fan chanting outside King’s Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London
Scotland football fans wearing kilts arrive at King’s Cross Station in central London ahead of the Uefa clash
A Scotland fan at Central station in Glasgow as she prepares to travel to London ahead of the Uefa clash
Scotland fans at Central station in Glasgow as they prepare to travel to London ahead of the Uefa clash
Scotland fans singing outside King’s Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London
Scotland fans chanting outside King’s Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London
Scotland fans drinking and singing at the All Bar One in Leicester Square ahead of the Uefa clash
Scotland fans singing and clapping outside King’s Cross Station on June 17, 2021 ahead of the Euro 2020 clash
A Scotland fan lets of a flare outside King’s Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London
Scottish Football supporters arrive at Kings Cross Station ahead of the England vs Scotland Euro 2020 football match
Scotland football fans wearing kilts are seen singing and drinking without masks in Leicester Square, central London
Metropolitan Police officers are seen in Leicester Square as Scotland football fans sing and drink ahead of the Uefa clash
Football fans in Leicester Square, London ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match between England and Scotland
And with no fan zone for those without tickets at Wembley, questions have been raised about where the droves of fans (some pictured) will go on Friday – especially as forecasted rain is set to make outside spaces a no-go
Scottish Football supporters in jumping in the fountain at Leicester Square ahead of the Uefa clash
Scotland fans singing and chanting outside King’s Cross Station on June 17, 2021 in London
A significant number of police attended at King’s Cross Station to make sure the football crowd did not get out of hand
One fan was seen smiling with a hat and Scottish flag as fans gathered at King’s Cross Station in the capital
Women travelling to London from Waverley Station, Edinburgh, are seen posing with a Scottish flag
Section 35 Dispersal Orders: Explained
Section 35 Dispersal Orders are issued where police believe there may be anti-social behaviour.
Under Section 35 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, a police constable and a PCSO have the power exclude a person from an area for a period of up to 48 hours.
The order must be authorised by an Inspector.
Mr Khan said: ‘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.’
In February, the Mayor said he wants to see Scots ‘coming down to London to watch the Scotland-England game’ and said Euro 2020 will be a ‘springboard to a recovery, particularly if it’s domestic fans only’.
Many booked pub visits well in advance to get the best deals. But, after Mr Khan’s more cautious approach this week, many pubs have retracted bookings – with fans claiming it was down to their Scottish post codes.
Supporter Gary Ayton told MyLondon: ‘Sadiq Khan said he wants the Scotland fans to travel down; ‘feel free to come in book pubs, it will be good for tourism’, so everyone has done it, then literally a week later, they’re saying ‘if you’ve not got a ticket don’t travel’.’
All 32 trains departing Edinburgh and Glasgow for the capital on Friday are fully booked, and southbound services from Manchester are also extremely busy.
And all bar one train arriving from Glasgow on Thursday were sold out yesterday, meaning the influx of fans has begun more than 24 hours before kick off.
And with no fan zone for those without tickets at Wembley, questions have been raised about where the droves of fans will go on Friday – especially as forecasted rain is set to make outside spaces a no-go.
The rule of six and strict social distancing measures are still in force indoors, meaning those hoping to watch the match from pubs and sports bars to shelter from the downpour could be facing disappointment.
Jeering fans chant as they gather at Central Station before boarding trains to London on June 17 – ahead of the match
Fans climb on top of benches and signs in King’s Cross Station after arriving in London ahead of the match
Droves of fans were seen at King’s Cross Station. Many did not wear masks as they walked along the platform
Scottish football supporters – one clutching a bottle of Buckfast – look jovial as they wait in King’s Cross Station
Scotland fans at Central station in Glasgow as they prepare to travel to London ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 Group D match between England and Scotland at Wembley Stadium
Scotland fans at Central station in Glasgow before their journey to London
Two young Scotland fans wearing matching kilts and jerseys were seen in Central Station, Glasgow, before boarding trains to London
Scotland football supporters gathered at Central Station before boarding trains to London on June 17
Fans chanted and sung as they walked along the platform in London
Scotland fans are seen posing on board a flight heading into London ahead of the Euro 2020 clash at Wembley
Meanwhile, footage taken onboard planes flying into London showed rows of passengers singing Yes Sir I Can Boogie by Baccara – a song unofficially adopted as an anthem by Scotland fans
Footage taken at King’s Cross Station showed droves of Scotland fans – several wearing blue football kits – disembarking their train. Several chanted ‘we’ll be coming down the road’, a Scotland Football Team song.
Huge crowds were seen gathered outside the station, with Met Police officers on guard in case the festivities got out of hand.
Meanwhile, footage taken onboard planes flying into London showed rows of passengers singing Yes Sir I Can Boogie by Baccara – a song unofficially adopted as an anthem by Scotland fans.
Friday’s highly anticipated match marks the first clash between the two teams in four years.
Scotland fans are already flooding into London ahead of the nation’s clash against England at Wembley – with the Tartan Army selling out trains from Glasgow and Edinburgh
As many as 6,000 Scots are expected to descend on the capital by Friday, according to the Scottish Football Supporters Association – while other estimates put the figure at 20,000. Left: A Scotland fan arriving by train. Right: Two visiting supporters posing in front of the Houses of Parliament
Footage taken at King’s Cross Station showed droves of Scotland fans – several wearing blue football kits – disembarking their train
Several chanted ‘we’ll be coming down the road’, a Scotland Football Team song
Sadiq Khan this week performed a u-turn on Scottish fans travelling up to London. Pictured: Fans heading to London on a coach
Crowds of people were seen arriving in London. Several train passengers did not wear face masks
Football fans cheered as they exited through the turnstiles in King’s Cross Station in London
Some fans wore traditional kilts with their football jerseys – even though kickoff isn’t until Friday at 8pm
It is thought that Scotland will join England in taking a knee to protest racial inequality during Friday’s game. Pictured: Scotland fans at King’s Cross Station
This week, ticketless Scotland supporters (fans pictured) were urged to stay away from Wembley for the match – with Sadiq Khan performing a u-turn on Scottish fans travelling down to London
After previously welcoming fans as a much-needed boost to the capital’s hard-hit hospitality industry, the London mayor said they pose a ‘serious risk’ to spreading Covid. Pictured: Fans arriving
Hundreds of Met Police officers will form a ring of steel at Wembley to prevent ticketless fans accessing the stadium. Pictured: Police at King’s Cross Station as fans arrived
Huge crowds were seen gathered outside the station, with Met Police officers on guard in case the festivities got out of hand
The mayor’s warning came amid concerns that those without tickets could meet in Hyde Park for a mass party after the match – with London Ambulance bosses putting the potential meet up ‘on their radar’. Pictured: Fans arriving
There will also be a significant police presence in tourist areas of such as Trafalgar Square, as well as at King’s Cross (pictured) and Euston stations
London Ambulance Service urged visitors to be sensible with their drinking but said it has ‘no plans’ to have an increased amount of medics on standby
Mr Khan said: ‘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’. Pictured: Fans in London
Mr Khan added: ‘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.’ Pictured: Fans at King’s Cross station
There are also concerns about Scotland fans infiltrating the home areas of the stadium as tickets are still changing hands on various resale websites. Pictured: Scotland fans in London
Supporters were draped in flags as they waited to board trains in Glasgow
Police were seen at Central Station in Glasgow before football fans boarded trains to London
Most fans arriving yesterday admitted they did not have a ticket for the crunch Euro match at Wembley against England and said they would watch the game at a pub.
John McCormak, 35, said ‘ There was no chance of a ticket, but me and two mates decided to come anyway. It’s a great away day and will be made all the sweeter if we win’
Mr McCormak, from Glasgow, said he was staying in a budget hotel near Victoria Station.
‘It’s a rip off with the price, but the cheapest I could find, I’ve been down before and there’s a good sports bar nearby which will do me,’ he added.
His friend Andy Allen 37, said: ‘Playing England at Wembley is the one match any Scot fan wants to attend. It’s criminal that more tickets were not made available.’
Between noon and 6pm six trains from Glasgow arrived at Euston. Others – equally packed with fans – arrived at Kings Cross station.
Fans were seen holding bottles of beer and clutching suitcases ahead of boarding trains to London
Football fans beam as they pose for a picture ahead of the Scotland vs England match
Football supporters are seen cheering and chanting outside King’s Cross Station in central London
Scotland supporters were seen chanting as they made their way along the platform in Glasgow before boarding the train to London
Fans wearing kilts chanted and punched the air as they walked down the platform in Glasgow
Two young Scotland supporters wearing matching kilts and pushing a suitcase were seen walking along in Glasgow station
Ticketless fans said they had booked a place at a pub showing the match as part of a package. Others said they planned to find a pub in central London that would house them rather than travel out to Wembley Stadium for the 8pm kick off.
Sandy Blake 26, said he planned to spend the night on a friend’s sofa and watch the match at a North London pub.
Wearing a kilt and a Scottish football jersey, he said the three day trip would cost him £400.
He said: ‘I’ve got a ticket to watch in a pub near my hotel. Costing me between £300 and £400. If we win, money well spent.’
After the five-and-a-half hour train journey from Glasgow, most fans headed straight to their accommodation. One group of six friends had accommodation booked at a Premier Inn close to Wembley.
Martin Yarrew, 25, said he had reserved a room as soon as the Euro draw was made and faced months of uncertainty about whether he would be able to travel due to Covid restrictions.
He said: ‘To be honest, I’m just glad to be here and excited to watch the match. Booking very early meant I got a cheap rate. Others on the train said they were paying over £150 a night.’
Another fan who arrived was Charlie Archibald, 30. He had a ticket for the match courtesy of his cousin Liam Cooper who is expected to play for Scotland.
Sporting a blue Scotland jersey with ‘Cooper’ on the back, he said: ‘I guess we are the lucky ones with a ticket. My cousin plays for Scotland so he was able to get us the tickets. Didn’t cost me anything. We’re really looking forward to the match.’
Charlie travelled down to London with friends Robbie Lapsley and David Snedden. They headed to their hotel Hyde Park after their train journey.
The police will work with stewards to stop ticketless fans accessing Wembley Way, and travelling fans in the England sections risk being ejected from the stadium. Pictured: Scotland fans in London
Scottish Football Supporters Association founder, Paul Goodwin, questioned why there was no fan zone provided for supporters without tickets in London, adding that Glasgow has one that can take 6,000 seated and socially distanced people. Pictured: Fans in London
Sven Lister, part of the Roysth Tartan Army supporters club, said that not facilitating a way for fans to watch the match could bring about trouble. Pictured: Fans in London
All 15 of the train services going straight to London from Glasgow in time for the match on Friday were sold out by Monday this week. Pictured: Trainline search results for
It is thought that Scotland will join England in taking a knee to protest racial inequality during Friday’s game.
Hundreds of Met Police officers are set to form a ring of steel at Wembley to prevent ticketless fans accessing the stadium on Friday night.
There will also be a significant police presence in tourist areas of such as Trafalgar Square, as well as at King’s Cross and Euston stations.
There are also concerns about Scotland fans infiltrating the home areas of the stadium as tickets are still changing hands on various resale websites.
The police will work with stewards to stop ticketless fans accessing Wembley Way, and travelling fans in the England sections risk being ejected from the stadium.
Scottish Football Supporters Association founder, Paul Goodwin, questioned why there was no fan zone provided for supporters without tickets in London, adding that Glasgow has one that can take 6,000 seated and socially distanced people.
All bar one train arriving on Thursday was sold out (pictured), meaning the influx of fans has begun more than 24 hours before kick off
Following Friday’s match, Scotland will return to Hampden Park in Glasgow for the final group game against Croatia on 22 June. Pictured: Other fans opted to drive to London
He told The Times: ‘There will be plenty of tartan on display as we like coming down and showing off. The fact we have not been part of it [a major tournament] for such a long time is a factor.’
Sven Lister, part of the Roysth Tartan Army supporters club, said that not facilitating a way for fans to watch the match could bring about trouble.
‘I reckon there will be about 20,000 or so turning out. It just worries me that they’ve not done anything. There’s going to be groups wandering, possibly not getting to see the football, which would cause trouble,’ he told MyLondon.
But Goodwin said that Scottish fans have won awards for their friendliness and good behaviour at the previous two tournaments.
The news comes following disappointment for Scotland fans after their country lost 2-0 in their first match in a major tournament in 23 years, which saw a Czech Republic player score an extraordinary goal from the halfway line.
The game was played at Hampden Park in Glasgow in front of a socially-distanced crowd of 12,000 fans.
The Met’s Deputy Assistant Comissioner, Jane Connors, told Sportsmail the force were preparing to deal with an invasion of ticketless fans for Scotland’s first game at Wembley since a World Cup qualifier five years ago in what will be only their second tournament meeting in 114 fixtures.
Scenes of fans descending on the capital no-doubt evoked memories of previous Tartan army invasions in London, such as in 1979 (pictured)
Scotland beat England 2-1 at Wembley Stadium in 1977, prompting fans to invade the pitch and pull down goalposts (pictured)
Fans are seen celebrating their sides first goal in the match against England at Wembley in 1977
‘We anticipate a significant number of fans are expecting to travel to London,’ Connors said.
‘I would urge people: please, only come to London if you have a ticket for a match, or fanzone. There are no alternative sites for fans to gather in large numbers and there are limited spaces in pubs and bars and you could end up missing the game. London is still in lockdown and must observe current Government guidelines.’
Mr Goodwin added that said Steve Clarke side’s defeat by the Czech Republic may have deterred fans from travelling and complained about the lack of a fanzone for the visitors in London.
‘There’s less likely to be a mass invasion as people are feeling deflated after the Czech result, but there will be a few thousand without tickets, that’s for sure,’ Goodwin said.
‘In addition to those travelling, as someone who lived in London for 16 years I know how big the Scottish community is down there.
‘The official allocation is 3,000 so it could be double that or even more. A Scottish fanzone would have helped keep people away from Wembley. Maybe that decision was taken to stop people from travelling.’
Following Friday’s crunch match, Scotland will return to Hampden Park in Glasgow for the final group game against Croatia on 22 June.
About 12,000 people descended on Hampden to watch their match against the Czech Republic on Monday.