England has made it to the Finals of the EURO 2020 tournament, as COVID cases around the country are increasing. However, the COVID cases in the country have quadrupled, leading researchers to suggest that tournament celebrations may be behind this.
A new Reuters report suggests that the success of the English national team is responsible for the huge spike in England. The report mentions the findings of Dennis Kinane, an immunologist, who said the following.
"It's that demographic, those football-loving, male, predominantly, individuals of a particular age group that we're now seeing a surge in,"
"So, just as we unlock socially ... we're actually going to have a spike,"Kinane also added that family members not attending the tournament are likely to suffer as well.
What are the possible causes?
England has played most of their tournament in London. Here, celebrations have ramped up over the last month as the team has played extremely well. The Wembley stadium has removed its capacity restrictions for the semi-finals and the finals. Now, Over 60,000 people will now attend the three remaining games.
On Wednesday, nearly the whole country celebrated as England beat Denmark 2-1 due to a questionable penalty. The celebrations of over 60,000 people took to the streets of London and public transportation, further increasing the risk of a spike in cases.
Imperial College, London's research also suggests that social mixing is perhaps the main reason for this spike. Many assumed this would not be the case as those entering the stadiums are required to test negative or be fully vaccinated. Keith Stills, a professor from the University of Suffolk, believes otherwise. According to him, infections have gone up due to unregulated gatherings in pubs and other social spaces.
Italy has also seen a spike in COVID cases making their way to the EURO 2020 finals. Researchers suggest that after the game is played on the 11th of July, the numbers will increase further.