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A historic night in Maidstone as England make Euro 2020 final


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Fans climbing trees, people belting out Three Lions and patrolling police officers were the scenes after England's historic win last night.

There was pure ecstasy in Kent as Gareth Southgate's men qualified for the national team's first major final since 1966.

A red flare lights up a town centre after England beat Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-final

Maidstone's town centre hosted hundreds of people as they flocked out of nightclubs, pubs and bars to celebrate in unison.

As fans switched chants from "I'm England Till I Die" and Atomic Kitten's remixed "Southgate You're The One", police officers patrolled the streets and drove by in vans and cars.

Some more adventurous fans tried their hand at climbing as they swung from a tree, which later lost a branch in the process, while someone managed to get their hands on a red flare which was alight in the town centre.

Police cars were placed at each end of town to stop any cars or buses attempting to make their way through the many England fans.

Some braver fans climbed an unsteady looking tree in Maidstone town centre. Heidi Harrison-Steele
Some braver fans climbed an unsteady looking tree in Maidstone town centre. Heidi Harrison-Steele
Maidstone town centre was packed after the final whistle. Heidi Harrison-Steele
Maidstone town centre was packed after the final whistle. Heidi Harrison-Steele

The large gathering will cause some concern for people with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has now prompted a Kent's public health bosses to urge fans to get tested before the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.

The number of transmissions have doubled since the week up to June 28 as the UK records the highest daily infections since January, over 32,500 cases.

Outbreaks have been linked to the county's hospitality sector as hundreds of football fans have been watching England's historic Euro 2020 tournament, namely in pubs, sports bars and hotels.

Research from the Imperial College London suggested England's run in Euro 2020 could be the reason why there is a difference in the number of men and women testing positive for Covid-19.

Professor Paul Elliott, director of the React programme from Imperial’s School of Public Health, told Sky News: “We saw the same in Scotland around the Euros and visits to Wembley and matches in Glasgow.

Maidstone United's Juan Luque and Bethan Cooper celebrate the big win. Picture: Heidi Harrison-Steele
Maidstone United's Juan Luque and Bethan Cooper celebrate the big win. Picture: Heidi Harrison-Steele
Maidstone town centre was filled up with hundreds of fans. Picture: Heidi Harrison-Steele
Maidstone town centre was filled up with hundreds of fans. Picture: Heidi Harrison-Steele

“Clearly it’s not just going to the match but it’s going to the pub, being in close proximity.

“We know how this virus is transmitted, it’s transmitted through close proximity to other people, some of whom may be infected and we also know from our data and other data that some people don’t know they have the virus and they don’t have symptoms but they carry the virus.

“So it does come down again to this social distancing.”

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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