Police promise "proportionate response" in Bedford as England take on Italy
Though council urges public to celebrate safely
Sunday's game between England and Italy naturally takes on extra meaning in the town - but the council and Public Health are worried and are uring fans not to hug too many people
Rates of Covid have nearly doubled in the last week, with the most recent local figures showing over 200 cases per 100,000 of the population.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “We are all really looking forward to the spectacle that will be the Euro final this Sunday with the men’s national side making their first major final since 1966, and it will be extra special event here in Bedford with our proud Italian community.
“We know that lots of people will be watching the game, seeing friends and family, and maybe supporting their local pub. This is sure to be a great evening, and we are urging everyone to make sure they celebrate safely.
“Even if you’re already vaccinated, get a rapid test before meeting up with people and make sure you’re keeping your friends, family and community safe by remembering hands, face, space and fresh air.”
Bedfordshire Police assistant chief constable Sharn Basra said: “We will be putting a proportionate policing response in place for Sunday’s European Championship final.
“The past 18 months or so have been tough on all of us and it is fantastic to see the warmth and positivity created by both the England and Italy teams during this championship.
“We are lucky to live in one of the most diverse areas of the country and we will always celebrate this diversity and the great Anglo-Italian relationship we have in Bedford in particular.
“We live and work alongside one another every day and while there will be friendly rivalry during Sunday’s match, I am sure these exchanges will be good natured, as they have been at every stage of the tournament so far here in Bedfordshire.
“Please enjoy the match responsibly, get home safe and let’s all hope for a fitting finale to what has been a great tournament for both teams.”