Fans to stay in bubble, return same day for Champions League final

UEFA confirmed that the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea had been moved from Istanbul to Porto to ensure that English fans could attend it.

Manchester City and Chelsea will each be provided with 6,000 tickets for their fans for the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League final, which has been moved from Istanbul to Porto (File Photo).   -  REUTERS

English fans attending the Champions League final in Porto between Manchester City and Chelsea will have to fly in on the day of the match and will need to stay in a 'bubble' before flying back straight after the game, the Portuguese government said on Thursday.

European football's governing body UEFA confirmed on Thursday that the game had been moved from original host city Istanbul to Porto in order to ensure that English fans could attend it.

Turkey was on the UK government's 'red list' for travel while Portugal has been placed on the 'green list'. City and Chelsea will each be provided with 6,000 tickets for their fans.

Portugal's Cabinet Affairs Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva told a news conference that a set of rules had been put in place for those fans attending the final.

"Those who come to the final of the Champions League will come and return on the same day, with a test done, in a bubble situation, on charter flights," she said.

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"There will be two fan zones and from there they will be moved to the stadium and from the stadium to the airport, being in Portugal less than 24 hours."

Vieira da Silva added that the local health authority was in charge of selecting seats for fans to ensure social distancing and that tickets were non-transferable.

Fans who travel to Porto to enjoy the occasion without going to the stadium were not subject to the same restrictions, Vieira da Silva claimed.

"Obviously, those coming by plane (to be in Porto while the match is on but do not actually go to the football stadium) will comply with the established rules and security measures that will be put in place like it happened in Lisbon last year."

She said the restrictions put in place were to ensure that COVID-19 rates remain low in Portugal. The announcement will be a blow to Porto's hotel and hospitality industry who would have been hoping to cash in on English fans enjoying a long weekend in the city.

Manchester City said on its website that the club would be "offering qualifying supporters an official day trip travel package from Manchester to Porto. Further information will be provided to supporters as soon as possible."

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