Fury as England team are given special permission to take on Iceland at Wembley next week


Fury as England team are given special permission by the Government to take on Iceland at Wembley next week, despite travel ban on coming to UK from Denmark due to Covid-19 mink scare

  • Iceland’s squad has been given special dispensation to fly from Copenhagen  
  • Non-British nationals have been barred from entering the UK from Denmark 
  • But the Government this evening announced it has granted a ‘limited exemption’
  • Fans lashed out at both Government and the FA for allowing match to go ahead 

Ministers have sparked uproar after allowing Iceland’s national football team to swerve the UK’s travel ban on people coming from coronavirus-hit Denmark.

Iceland’s squad has been given special dispensation to fly from Copenhagen for next Wednesday’s Nation’s League fixture against Gareth Southgate’s men at Wembley.  

Non-British nationals travelling from Denmark have been barred from entering the UK following a Covid-19 outbreak in Danish mink farms. 

But the Government this evening announced it has granted a ‘limited exemption’ for the players to travel from Copenhagen where they will first face off against Denmark.

A statement from the Department of Transport justified the exemption as ‘reducing disruption’ to England’s Nation’s League fixtures.

Yet the decision spurred a backlash from people more concerned with the recent flare-up of Covid-19 in Denmark, where minks transferred the virus to humans.

Iceland (left) will be travelling to London from Denmark as they have a match there on Sunday

Non-British nationals have been barred from entering the UK from Denmark. More than 17million mink are being purged and dumped in mass graves in Denmark

Non-British nationals have been barred from entering the UK from Denmark. More than 17million mink are being purged and dumped in mass graves in Denmark 

The decision spurred a backlash from people more concerned with the recent flare-up of Covid-19 in Denmark, where minks transferred the virus to humans

The decision spurred a backlash from people more concerned with the recent flare-up of Covid-19 in Denmark, where minks transferred the virus to humans

Football fans lashed out at both the Government and the FA for allowing the match to go ahead.

One, Dave Thompson, tweeted it was a ‘totally stupid decision’ that is ‘putting the players and staff at risk’.

Another, Mike Pinkerton, said: ‘Daft bringing Iceland over for a meaningless friendly with what’s happening in Denmark. Should have just scrapped it.’

Another weighed in: ‘Yeah, I guess the virus will know not to transmit to anybody since it’s for a football match. Why on earth are we still playing international football?’ 

Only today did the Government announce it would be extending the mandatory quarantine period for those travelling from Denmark for a further 14 days.

The action was taken after the spread of coronavirus in mink was found to be a mutated strain of the disease, sending alarm bells ringing in Whitehall.

In a sign of the seriousness of the outbreak, Denmark has culled more than 17 million mink and dumped the corpses in mass graves.

 

Earlier this week Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the new Covid-19 variant — called Cluster 5 — could have ‘grave consequences’ if it becomes widespread.

Such stark concerns fuelled the bewilderment on social media as to why the Government and FA are allowing the Icelandic team to travel from the Danish capital.

The Government said: ‘This temporary and extremely limited exemption will allow the relevant players and essential staff support to be exempt from the new requirements and will help reduce any disruption for England’s upcoming Nations League fixtures.’

An FA spokesman added: ‘We are pleased to confirm that following discussions with the relevant authorities next Wednesday’s UEFA Nations League fixture against Iceland will go ahead at Wembley Stadium.’ 

Only today did the Government announce it would be extending the mandatory quarantine period for those travelling from Denmark for a further 14 days

Only today did the Government announce it would be extending the mandatory quarantine period for those travelling from Denmark for a further 14 days

Before the decision was made by the Government, the FA released a statement outlining the plans they had to accommodate Iceland travelling from Denmark, irrespective of the ban on visitors from the restricted country.

The FA statement read: ‘While in Denmark they (the Icelandic national team) will have been under strict Uefa protocols in a sporting bubble and will be PCR tested before travelling to England. The PCR test picks up the Cluster 5 variant.

‘We have agreed with the Icelandic team that they arrive on private charter to a private terminal and will only have access to their hotel and the stadium.

‘We will also put in place additional testing over and above the multiple tests normally required for each participant and staff at the match.’    

England travelled to Iceland in September for the Nations League fixture, which the Three Lions won 1-0. 

But the win was eclipsed by Covid rule-breaking by England star Phil Foden who slept with an Icelandic 19-year-old during the trip and was sent home in disgrace.

List of travel corridors where you can travel without having to self-isolate on return to England 

From 4am Saturday, November 14, you can travel to England from these destinations without having to self-isolate for 14 days 

Akrotiri and Dhekelia

Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia

the Azores

Bahrain 

Barbados

Bermuda

British Antarctic Territory

British Indian Ocean Territory

British Virgin Islands

Brunei

Cambodia 

The Canary Islands

Cayman Islands

the Channel Islands

Chile 

Cuba

Dominica

Estonia

Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands

Fiji

Finland

Gibraltar

Greek islands: Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos

Greenland

Grenada

Hong Kong

Iceland 

Ireland

the Isle of Man

Japan

Laos 

Latvia

Macao (Macau)

Madeira

Malaysia

Maldives

Mauritius

Montserrat

New Caledonia

New Zealand

Norway

Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands

Qatar 

Seychelles

Singapore

South Korea

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

St Barthélemy

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Pierre and Miquelon

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Taiwan

Thailand

Turks and Caicos Islands

United Arab Emirates

Vietnam

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