With Euro 2020 kicking off today (Friday 11th June) North Yorkshire Police are urging fans to ‘stay onside the law’ and act responsibly when watching the matches at local venues.

The postponed tournament will coincide with further easing of lockdown restrictions in the coming days – with England’s match against Czech Republic scheduled for the day after lockdown rules are fully lifted on 21st June.

And ahead of what could be a successful tournament for England, Chief Inspector Charlotte Bloxham is urging fans to avoid temptation to “throw caution to the wind” and overdo it.

Speaking about the policing approach the force will take, Chief Inspector Bloxham said:

“We know this tournament has been eagerly anticipated by football fans and for many it’s been something to look forward to throughout the lockdown period. Being able to hold sporting events again is a sign of normal life returning which is welcomed by all.

It’s also an opportunity for friends and family to come together and celebrate their team’s success or commiserate the loss. But it’s important that we do so safely and responsibly.

“The battle against Covid has been a long-haul and we have all made sacrifices. So there may be a temptation for some to throw caution to the wind and perhaps overdo it.  If you are having a drink, remember to mix your drinks with non-alcoholic drinks and bear in mind the warm temperatures we’ve experienced recently. Also, if you’ve had a drink do not get behind the wheel – walk, get a taxi or a bus.

“Events like these are opportunities for our communities and the country as a whole to come together, so violence, hate and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated. Please respect those around you, your friends and family, fellow supporters and also the villages, towns and cities you may be watching the games in.

“And while we don’t want to dampen any spirits or take away any of the excitement, it’s hard to ignore the backdrop of a global pandemic and the fact that two England games take place while restrictions are still in place. So please remember, until the 21st June the rule of six or two households indoors remains and a maximum of 30 people outdoors.

“Venues will still have restrictions in place, so please ensure you adhere to their guidelines and remember hands, face, space.

“All throughout the tournament and particularly on key match days, police officers will be patrolling and visible within our communities to ensure everyone is safe – both supporters and non-football fans.

“So please ‘stay onside’ and ensure you enjoy the tournament responsibly.”

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.