As many as 1,000 fans from Italy will descend on Wembley on Sunday despite the fact that English supporters were effectively banned from Rome for their Euro 2020 quarter final.
Under a quarantine exemption agreed by the Government and Uefa, a delegation of fans from Italy will be allowed to attend the final against England without needing to self-isolate for 10 days.
It comes after ministers on Thursday announced that fully vaccinated English holidaymakers will be able to travel to amber list countries, including Italy, with their children from July 19 without having to quarantine.
England joined Italy in the final of the tournament after a historic semi final victory against Denmark on Wednesday night.
A national clean-up operation was under way on Thursday morning, after fans across the country partied into the early hours.
Some of the most eye-catching celebrations took place in London, where fans were seen clambering on top of London buses, traffic lights and red phone boxes.
Ahead of the final on Sunday, there are now growing calls for the Government to declare a Bank Holiday on Monday, with Downing Street encouraging employers to be flexible and allow staff to take the morning off.
The plans to allow foreign supporters to travel to the final were first revealed last month, and will enable the fans to travel to the UK to watch the match, providing they produce a negative pre-departure test.
They will also be kept in tight bubbles, stewarded and segregated to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission, and will also be required to travel in and out of the UK on Sunday.
The Italian Football Federation will distribute 1,000 tickets costing £525 each to fans. A looser exemption was carved out for up to 2,500 Uefa VIPs for the semi finals and finals.
It is expected that roughly 15 per cent of the crowd at Wembley will be made up of Italian fans, the majority of whom will be expats living in the UK.
However, government insiders on Thursday night pointed out that the “overwhelming” majority of fans in the stadium would be cheering on England, adding that the Italians had pushed hard for more of their supporters to be admitted.
UK sources also stressed the decision was necessary to prevent Uefa relocating matches overseas, but England fans are likely to take umbrage at the difference in approach in comparison to Italy.
Ahead of England’s quarter final match against Ukraine in Rome on July 3, the Italian embassy in London issued a statement warning that anybody seeking to enter the stadium who had been in the UK in the previous fortnight would not be admitted.
Entry was permitted only for those who could prove they had arrived in Italy six days beforehand, had observed five days’ quarantine and received a negative Covid-19 test.
Just days earlier, there was also widespread anger at Mario Draghi, Italy’s prime minister, after he claimed he would try and steal the final from Wembley and move it to Rome.
Meanwhile, ITV reported that the peak audience on Wednesday evening hit 27.6 million people, once ITV Hub and non-TV devices were factored in, in what is believed to be the largest audience for a football fixture on a single channel.
Speaking on a visit to St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire on Thursday, the Prince of Wales revealed he could barely watch the extra time win, adding: “Watching the football, it’s rather too much for the nerves.”
He is understood to be following the tournament closely as Gareth Southgate, the England manager, has been an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust for more than 15 years.