Three Lions supporters were advised to watch the match outdoors in light of the ongoing Covid public health advice and beer gardens have been steadily filling up throughout Saturday afternoon.
Bradley Hayden, 27, from Barnes in London, was one of those waiting for the match to start in Trafalgar Square.
He told the PA news agency he had come down to “be part of the atmospheric” despite not having a ticket to the fan zone.
“You see a lot of footage of people on social media down here having a good time and I felt a bit left out to be honest – I thought why not come down, get in the thick of it and see what it’s about. It’s a bit quiet at the moment, I’m hoping it picks up – we’ll probably follow the police vans because where ever they’re heading that’s where the fun is going to be.”
By 4.30pm there were already three vans of police officers parked around the square.
Sam Carlisle, 26, from Reading, had also headed to Trafalgar Square to enjoy the pre-match buzz.
He said: “I just wanted to get in the eye of the storm really – just before the match trying to soak a bit of atmosphere and try and see what it’s all about.”
When asked if he was nervous, he replied: “Not as much as Tuesday, I think we should be able to do it – think of it as two friendlies before the final.”
Joana Moreira, 38 – who works for Coca Cola, and Jose Nunes, 42 – who works for M&S, are both originally from Portugal, but have lived in London for three years.
They both are watching the match from the Uefa Fan Zone in Trafalgar Square.
Ms Moreira said: “I think it’s going to be a clear win for England. They way they’re playing, with the new players, it’s a different team from what we’ve had in the past, I think it’s going to be a win and they’ll be in the finals on Sunday.”
Mr Nunes added: “I’m cautiously optimistic, I don’t think we’ll keep a clean sheet this time. We’ve been doing it too long, but I think we’ll get there [and win].”
Both said they were originally supporting Portugal before the team were knocked out last week after being defeated by Belgium. Now they are both supporting England.
Additional reporting by the Press Association.
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