Prime Minister Boris Johnson hasn’t ruled out introducing a bank holiday this year if the Three Lions win Euro 2020.
The team managed to score a spot in theEuro 2020 finalsafter defeating Denmark 2-1 last night, marking the first time since 1966 England has scored a position in the international finals. So, understandably we’re a little more than excited.
Now, Three Lions are set to take on Italy on Sunday at Wembley Stadium for the last leg of the tournament.
Petition launches for Euros bank holiday
In the true spirit of the game, a petition went viral bidding everyone to get a day off on Monday if England brings home the winning title. The petition gained more than 275,000 signatures, meaning it has passed the threshold for parliamentary consideration and the Government will have to provide a response.
Creators of the petition reasoned that a bank holiday would be nothing short of a ‘sensible’ response: ‘Sunday 8pm is a difficult time for families to plan to be together for the event - knowing we have an additional day off the next day would significantly help this.’
‘Furthermore, a historic win should be celebrated. It would be expected for the winning team to parade the trophy, and a Bank Holiday would be a perfect time to do this.
The petition continued to state that ‘English people would naturally want to continue to enjoy the win, giving the retail and leisure industry a much-needed opportunity to make up lost revenues.’
When Prime Minister Boris Johnson was questioned about the potential for a bank holiday, he revealed: ‘I think that would be tempting fate. Let’s see what happens.’
The answer wasn’t exactly a resounding yes, but more importantly, it wasn’t a no.
Johnson’s official spokesperson later added: ‘I don’t want to pre-empt the outcome of Sunday’s match. Clearly, we want England to go all the way and win the final, and then we will set out our plans in due course.’
Given the petition’s timing, it may be a little too late for Johnson to implement an emergency bank holiday, but Johnson’s spokesperson revealed that other options would be considered.
When asked whether or not businesses should be flexible in giving workers Monday off anyway, the spokesperson added: ‘We would want businesses who feel able to consider it if they can, but we recognise it will vary depending on the business and company.’
Pub hours extended for Sunday’s match
Many Brits will be calling in sick on Monday whether football comes home or not, as both celebrations and commiserations will most likely result in a new pandemic - hangovers.
The Government has already moved to extend licencing hours for pubs on Sunday to 11:15pm to allow the public to watch the match the way it was intended.
However, many others are worried that the 60,000 strong Wembley crowd combined with packed pubs will result in anincrease in COVID cases.
Public Health Scotland has already published data on June 18th’s England-Scotland match, which had a much smaller turnout at 22,500. In total, 1,991 people who tested positive for COVID had attended one or more of the Euro matches where they ‘may have unknowingly transmitted their infection to others.’
Only 397 of the COVID positive people had actually attended the Wembley match, representing about 15% of the Scots allocated a ticket.
When asked about potential COVID outbreaks ahead of the England-Denmark match, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng commented: ‘Yes, there’s always concern.’
I think we can manage this risk, but to say there is no risk, if you have thousands of people in one place ... there’s always risk in life. I think we’re managing the risk. I’m confident there won’t be a big outbreak—but I can’t guarantee that now. We’ve got to just see what happens.