Sunday’s Euro 2020 final between England and Italy will not be shown on Woolwich’s big screen, Greenwich Council has confirmed, as coronavirus cases continue to climb across south-east London.
The screen, which underwent a £123,000 upgrade at the start of last year, has been used for major sporting events over the years, but has been showing public health messages since the start of the pandemic.
Government guidelines for dealing with the virus mean the screen cannot be used, the council said in a statement yesterday.
“There is no way of limiting numbers and ensuring social distancing in an open public space,” it said. “If you want to watch the game with other people on Sunday, we’d recommend supporting local businesses like pubs and restaurants which have been hit hard during the pandemic.”
“The big screen is a popular feature of Woolwich town centre and we look forward to welcoming people back to General Gordon Square for the World Cup next year.”
With a third wave of the virus under way, 207 cases per 100,000 residents were recorded in Greenwich in the seven days to Sunday, according to Public Health England figures. In Lewisham, the figure is 246 per 100,000; in Bexley it is 172.
Walk-in vaccine centres are operating across all three boroughs, including at the Woolwich Late Night Pharmacy next to the big screen, which is offering jabs for the over-40s every morning. A mass vaccination clinic for over-18s is being held at Millwall’s The Den this Saturday while jabs for all adult are being offered every day at Guy’s Hospital.
Public screenings of this summer’s matches have been restricted, with fans seated at tables in London’s official fan zone at Trafalgar Square. Original plans for the tournament envisaged Greenwich Park being used as a fan zone for 30,000 people.
Some 60,000 fans will be at Wembley Stadium for England’s first major final for 55 years. London mayor Sadiq Khan defended allowing the large crowd while the virus was still spreading, telling the Financial Times earlier this week: “What we’ve seen is people behaving themselves . . . the combination of requiring fans to have either had both jabs or the lateral-flow test means we know that people aren’t taking the virus with them to the stadium.”
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