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Andy Nguyen
By Andy Nguyen July 9, 2021

No, the British royal family attending a Euro 2020 match doesn’t mean COVID-19 is fake

If Your Time is short

  • COVID-19 is real and has infected more than 5 million people in the United Kingdom, and killed more than 128,000 people in the country.
     
  • Wembley Stadium has coronavirus safety precautions in place for Euro 2020 matches including requiring attendees to have a negative COVID-19 test or be fully vaccinated before attending a game.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their son Prince George, were among thousands of other revelers in Wembley Stadium who cheered on England’s victory over Germany during a Euro 2020 soccer match.

It wasn’t long after before misinformation began to spread online about their appearance at the game, claiming it was proof COVID-19 was a hoax.

"This is the simplest way to explain this to the sheep," a July 6 Instagram post stated. "If there were a real deadly pandemic, then two of the heirs to the British (throne) probably wouldn't be allowed to join 50,000 other football fans inside a stadium."

An image of the Cambridges at Wembley Stadium during the June 29 match is included with the text.

The Instagram post is not accurate and leaves out several important details as to why and how the Cambridges were able to attend the match.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. Instagram is owned by Facebook. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

The United Kingdom is in the midst of a surge of coronavirus infections, driven by the more transmissible delta variant, with one in every 160 people testing positive for the virus as of July 9, according to the BBC. 

The infections have primarily been reported among the country's youth who have yet to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the BBC reported.

More than 128,000 people have died in the United Kingdom because of the virus, and more than 5 million have tested positive since the start of the pandemic.

Although the country is experiencing a surge in cases, the British government has been planning to ease restrictions and reopen the country.

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As part of its reopening plan, the government started the Events Research Programme, which "aims to examine the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from attendance at events and explore ways to enable people to attend a range of events safely."

The study involves looking at how using a combination of testing and non-pharmaceutical safety measures, like face masks, can be used to lift restrictions. One venue where the study is being conducted is Wembley Stadium.  

The stadium required attendees to follow COVID-19 safety measures, according to the Union of European Football Associations.

Guests had to wear face masks while entering the stadium and in all indoor areas, only being able to take them off when at their seats. A negative rapid COVID-19 test within 48 hours of a match starting or proof of full vaccination is also required for attendees based in England ages 11 and older.

Wembley Stadium is also under strict capacity limits, with the Associated Press reporting 40,000 fans were allowed to attend the June 29 match — short of the 50,000 mentioned in the Instagram post.

Both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posted on Twitter about getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in May. Kate has also been in self-isolation since July 2 after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, according to CNN.

Our ruling

An Instagram post claims COVID-19 is a hoax and points to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attending a Euro 2020 match at Wembley Stadium as evidence, saying if the pandemic was real they wouldn’t have attended the game.

The threat of COVID-19 in the U.K. remains very real. The United Kingdom is in the middle of a surge of the virus, with more one out of 160 people testing positive. More than 5 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and more than 128,000 people have died as a result.

Wembley Stadium has capacity limits for attending Euro 2020 matches and requires attendees to wear masks when entering the stadium and in any indoor areas outside of their seats. Guests are also required to show proof they’ve been fully vaccinated or have had a negative rapid COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to a match.

Both the Duke and Duchess have also received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in May.

We rate this claim False.

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No, the British royal family attending a Euro 2020 match doesn’t mean COVID-19 is fake

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