Why throw beer when England score? Can it transmit Covid?

Crowds at The Arena in Sprowston getting ready for the England v Germany Euros match. Picture: Danie

Beer was thrown at The Arena during the England vs Germany celebrations in Sprowston - Credit: Danielle Booden

It has become a trend during England football matches, but spare a thought for those who have to spend hours mopping up beer thrown in the air after goals are scored. 

Experts estimated a total of 100,000 pints were flung in the air when England defeated Sweden in the 2018 quarter-final, and pubs can expect for more of the same this Saturday when England play Ukraine in the same stage of Euro 2020. 

Kurt Oliver, landlord of the White Hart in Swaffham, previously worked in London fan zones, describing it as an "absolutely disgusting place of work". 

Landlord of the White Hart in Swaffham Kurt Oliver with his family.

Swaffham landlord Kurt Oliver with his family - Credit: Submitted

"Beer goes all over the place and you are stood in front as a security guard absolutely soaked," Mr Oliver said. 

"There is not a lot you can do until the match has finished. It takes a couple of hours for staff to do the mopping and clean-up after an England match. Football can get quite messy." 

Despite coronavirus restrictions still being in place, places like The Arena in Sprowston were in danger of being seen on a meteorological radar, such was the volume of liquid being thrown in the air.

Mr Oliver continued: "I suppose it is a bonus it is now outside because it [beer] sticks to the ceilings and can be quite expensive to clear. I never understand why you would throw away perfectly good beer." 

Health expert Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said there is not a particular risk of the coronavirus being transmitted through beer throwing. 

Prof Paul Hunter of the UEA's Norwich medical school. Photo: Bill Smith

Prof Paul Hunter of the UEA's Norwich medical school. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

He said: "Whilst it is a waste of beer and it's not an activity I would endorse, I am not sure it would spread Covid.

Most Read

"In terms of being transmitted in an environment, I can't see it being an additional cause but nothing is ever 100pc." 

However, Prof Hunter said there may be a direct link between rising cases of the Delta variant and numbers gathering for England matches.

He said that the week after the first England Euro 2020 game on June 13, there was the lowest week-on-week increase in cases for June 13-20. But the data then showed a spike in cases seven days after the game.

Prof Hunter said: "It's plausible that this rapid increase could have been some relationship to people gathering in crowded places together."


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter