EURO 2020 Son 16

A father and his two grown up sons contracted Covid after attending the Euro 2020 final despite being vaccinated twice.

Graham Hiley thinks they caught it after being accosted by ticketless fans storming a disabled entrance when they entered the stadium or while they walked through a packed concourse to get to their seats.

Mr Hiley, 61, went to the game with his disabled son Tim, 29, and older son Martin, 34. They also took Tim’s friend Joe McIndoe, 29, who is also in a wheelchair.

Only Mr McIndoe, who also has been inoculated twice, did not catch the virus.

Mr Hiley, a sports journalism lecturer at Solent University, is sure they caught the bug at the match. He said: “It has to be Wembley, we haven’t been anywhere since.

“All of us have been fanatically careful the last 16 months, with hand sanitiser and masks and only going out when you have to. I suppose you let your guard down because it’s the final, but also you’re told it’s a test event. Maybe if it had been an ordinary event it would have been safe, but there were hundreds, probably thousands, that climbed over barriers who went in without any Covid checks at all…

“Not that they were necessarily that stringent, we just showed a QR code on our phone (for the Covid check), it could have been a Nando’s reservation I think they would have waved us through.

“In a way it was a perfect storm. I would say it probably was a super-spreader event.”

At the disabled entrance where they entered Wembley a ticketless fan wearing a high-vis jacket pretended to be a steward and tried to grab Mr McIndoe’s wheelchair to blag his way in.

a couple of people posing for the camera: Graham and sons Tim (centre) and Martin (right) inside the stadium before the game started (Photo: Graham Hiley) © Provided by The i Graham and sons Tim (centre) and Martin (right) inside the stadium before the game started (Photo: Graham Hiley)

Mr Hiley, from Southampton, said: “As we got to the disabled entrance there was a great throng of people so we had to push our way through a great crowd. The thought that somebody was trying to hijack Joe’s wheelchair to get in was a bit low.

“When the ticketless fans burst through they knocked down a guy on crutches with his leg in a cast, he was sent flying and trampled on and some of the stewards were trampled on.”

The group then had to make their way to their seats which was a “long walk” through the huge crowd in the concourse.

He said: “Legally people aren’t allowed to drink in sight of the pitch so everybody was crammed onto the concourse chanting. There was no masks, no enforcement, no social distancing and everyone was shoulder to shoulder, trying to push two wheelchairs through that was a little daunting.”

Mr Hiley and Tim started to feel ill the Tuesday after the match and tested positive on Wednesday. Martin only suffered mild symptoms the following Saturday and tested positive then.

Calling on the Government to release any data they have on Wembley infection numbers, he added: “Absolutely they should. They say it is a test or pilot event then surely they need to release the results and learn the lessons from it.”

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/euro-2020-final-fan-who-caught-covid-at-wembley-says-government-must-release-data-from-e2-80-98super-spreader-e2-80-99-event/ar-AAMp8XD

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