Euro 2020 and Wimbledon could be the “catalysts to give people hope” during an “exciting” post-lockdown summer, according to Sadiq Khan.
The mayor of London believes major sporting and cultural events in the capital could be a “springboard to a recovery” but insisted they must be done safely, with UK-based fans rather than those from overseas expected to attend.
His remarks came after he received his first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on Friday.
The politician said he was “delighted, relieved and incredibly grateful” after visiting a vaccine centre at Mitcham Lane Baptist Church in south-west London.
He was asked by his GP to receive the vaccine in the current phase of the rollout due to his asthma.
Football’s European Championship was delayed by a year due to the pandemic, with Uefa still hopeful of staging the tournament in 12 cities – including London and Glasgow. Wimbledon was not held in 2020 and scenarios are being drawn up for the tennis tournament to take place at full capacity, reduced numbers or behind closed doors.
Asked about the prospect of a summer of major events going ahead in London with fans in attendance, Mr Khan told the PA news agency: “I think it is possible and I’m hoping there will be a really good summer.
“I think Euro 2020 will be fantastic, we have the seven games in London. I think we can use Euro 2020 as a springboard to a recovery, particularly if it’s domestic fans only.
“I want to see Scots coming down to London to watch the Scotland-England game and it can be really exciting.
“Similarly, I am looking forward to cultural events, to open-air theatres, to street carnivals, to Wimbledon.
“It’ll be very different this year for obvious reasons because we’ve got to recognise that international travel is not the same as previous years.
“But those could be the catalyst to give people hope and to engender a sense of positivity, but it’s got to be done safely.”