Boris Johnson has claimed “sensible accommodations” can be made to ensure the Euros final can go ahead at Wembley.
The showpiece on July 11 plus the semi finals have been plunged into doubt with up to 2,500 senior UEFA officials, sponsors, broadcasters and VIPs needing exemption on arrival in London.
Ministers are now having talks with European football’s governing body who have put Budapest on standby just in case a solution cannot be reached.
Prime Minister Johnson will be anxious there is no repeat of the Champions League which was moved to Porto rather than Wembley because the Government refused to back down over quarantine exemptions.
Johnson said: “We’ll do what we have to do to keep the country safe from COVID, that’s obviously going to be our priority.
“We’ll be talking to UEFA about what they want and see if we can make some sensible accommodations. But the priority obviously has to be public health.”
UEFA has confirmed there is a contingency plan in place with Budapest now on standby for the final week but losing the Euros would be a huge blow – especially if England reach the final.
Crowds of up to 45,000 will be allowed at Wembley for the semi finals and final but the quarantine exemption is a major concern with UEFA insisting upon it.
UEFA said: “UEFA is delighted that the capacity at Wembley will go up to at least 50% for the knock-out round matches.
“At the moment, we are in discussions with the local authorities to try to allow fans of the participating teams to attend the matches, using a strict testing and bubble concept that would mean their stay in the UK would be less than 24 hours and their movements would be restricted to approved transport and venues only.
“We understand the pressures that the government face and hope to be able to reach a satisfactory conclusion of our discussions on the matter.
“There is always a contingency plan but we are confident that the final week will be held in London.”
That puts pressure on Johnson and the UK Government to strike an agreement with UEFA and the FA – something that proved difficult with the Champions League final.
After UEFA decided the final should be moved from Istanbul, the UK looked in the driving seat to host the event, with two English teams, Chelsea and Manchester City, competing the final.
However, failure by the UK to successfully provide quarantine exemptions for sponsors, broadcasters, VIPs and officials saw them miss out to eventual holders Porto.