Saint Petersburg Euro quarter-final to go ahead despite Covid surge: organisers

Saint Petersburg (AFP) – The Euro 2020 quarter-final in Saint Petersburg on Friday will go ahead as planned, Russia’s tournament organisers told AFP Monday, as the city posted a new pandemic high for daily virus deaths. 

“The quarter-final will take place as planned,” the press service of the organising committee in Saint Petersburg said.

A UEFA spokesperson told AFP that the surging outbreak “changes absolutely nothing” and “there are no plans to change the location of the match”.

Saint Petersburg, Russia’s second city and one of the country’s main virus hotspots, has seen a surging outbreak due to the highly transmissible Delta variant first identified in India. 

On Monday, Saint Petersburg recorded 110 fatalities from coronavirus, setting a new pandemic high for the second time in three days.

The city was where dozens of Finland supporters were infected after they travelled there for their team’s loss to Belgium in the group stage. 

But while authorities have tightened some restrictions, including banning food sales at its Euro 2020 fan zones, authorities on Friday allowed high school graduation celebrations to go ahead including a packed concert that drew thousands.

Russia is among the worst-hit countries from coronavirus with the fifth-highest caseload in the world, according to an AFP tally.

The teams playing in the quarter-final in Saint Petersburg will be known later Monday after France face Switzerland and Croatia take on Spain in the last 16.

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