Close to 30 million people are expected to tune in to watch the match, which kicks off at 8pm. The winners will play either Spain or Italy — who meet in the other semi-final at Wembley tonight — at the Euro 2020 tournament’s climactic showdown on Sunday.
But senior police officers warned excited fans that they must continue to observe Covid restrictions, whatever the outcome tomorrow night.
Simon French, chief economist at City brokers Panmure Gordon, said that the feelgood sight of captain Harry Kane lifting the Henri Delaunay trophy in five days’ time could unlock billions of pounds worth of savings built up during the 15 months of the pandemic.
He predicted that as much as five per cent of the £200 billion savings mountain could be spent in the aftermath of a morale-boosting win for the Three Lions — equivalent to 0.5 per cent of GDP.
He added: “The economic prize of England winning the Euros is not the beer drunk, the pizzas eaten, or the screens erected. It is the feelgood factor that this might trigger. With households having almost £200 billion of excess savings compared to pre-pandemic, the enthusiasm that an England victory would generate could, potentially, be worth up to £10 billion for the UK economy.”
Deputy assistant commissioner Laurence Taylor of the Met police told the Standard he wanted fans to enjoy themselves but warned that pandemic laws were still in force despite Boris Johnson’s announcement that they will be rolled back on July 19.
He said: “We want fans to have a great time. It’s fantastic that England have got to the semi-finals. However, the Covid regulations and the law hasn’t changed. People are understandably going to celebrate, not just at Wembley but around London. We will have an enhanced policing operation just in case there are any public order issues. As throughout the pandemic, we will step in to advise people if Covid rules are being broken.”
Police units will be deployed to key areas like Trafalgar and Leicester squares, where fans often congregate. Mr Taylor added: “We want fans whether they are in the stadium or in a pub to have a great night. We will have enhanced policing, but we all want to celebrate the team’s success.”