The teams are set to face off on Friday evening at Wembley Stadium, where capacity has been restricted to 22,500 fans due to coronavirus measures. Around 2,600 Scotland fans will be allowed to watch the match in the stadium.
Tickets for trains leaving Glasgow and Edinburgh for London on Friday morning have sold out, and thousands of fans without tickets to the match expected to travel to the capital. As the traditional “fan zone” in Trafalgar Square is being reserved for London key workers, many members of the Tartan Army plan to congregate in Hyde Park.
Scottish football supporters’ groups have downplayed reports that up to 20,000 could travel to London, with the Scottish Football Supporters Association saying it expects around 6,000 to make the trip.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors said: “The Euros is an internationally important event with its own unique policing needs and draws upon expertise right across the Met.
“We anticipate that a significant number of fans are expecting to travel to London for the England Scotland game on Friday 18 June.
“I would urge people: please, only come to London if you have a ticket for a match, or fan zone. There are no alternative sites for fans to gather in large numbers and there are limited spaces in pubs and bars and you could end up missing the game. London is still in lockdown and must observe current government guidelines.”
She added that the force has a “very experienced policing team in place and will be deploying a great many officers” across the capital. The force was unable to confirm how many extra officers would be deployed.
The London mayor has also asked fans not to make the trip down south unless they have tickets, underlining that there is limited capacity in fan zones and the city’s pubs and bars.
Sadiq Khan said: “It is absolutely fantastic that Scotland are playing in their first international tournament for 23 years – and I cannot wait for Friday’s match.
“Scottish fans are renowned around the world for bringing a party atmosphere with them to the big tournaments but with Covid restrictions still in place on both sides of the border, the best thing for fans without tickets to the game or a safe place to watch it is to enjoy the game from Scotland and not come to London.
“In an ideal world I would welcome the Tartan Army to London for this match with open arms – but with Covid cases increasing, and with so much at stake as we fight this awful virus, I’m afraid that it just cannot be this time, so the best thing to do is not to come to London and instead enjoy the game at home.”
The Met statement is the latest in a series of warnings issued by senior police officers, with Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor telling LBC radio that “people gathering around in larger groups outside of Covid restrictions can expect to be policed”.
He asked fans not to go to Trafalgar Square, where the match will be shown live on huge screens in a ticketed fan zone, as it will only be open to 750 London key workers.