Ukraine tells fans to get measles jab

Ukraine - which will host Euro 2012 in June together with Poland - has urged fans to get vaccinated against measles before visiting as the country gets to grips with fears of a mass epidemic.


"If you plan to come to Ukraine, please get vaccinated at home," Oleksandr Kravchuk, deputy head of the state sanitary and epidemiological service, told the Kiev Post. "The situation with measles is unfavourable in our country."

The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control, a European Union agency in charge of fighting infectious diseases, reported a measles outbreak in the former Soviet republic last month with over 5,000 cases registered.

The outbreak was concentrated in the western part of the country bordering on Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

"The epidemic is expected to accelerate and spread geographically during the peak transmission season for measles from February to June," ECDC said.

The news is yet another blow to Ukraine's hopes of boosting its tourism industry through the championship, with reports of outrageous price gouging among hoteliers already putting scores of fans off.

A one-star hotel in Donetsk, where England face France on June 11, is asking for £1,000 a night, while even guesthouses 35 miles away are looking for £240 per person per night.

Meanwhile, a room at the Ibis hotel in Kiev would normally cost £49, but is currently advertised for £550 when England are playing Sweden in the city on June 15.

UEFA president Michel Platini blasted the "bandits and swindlers" who have jacked up prices ten-fold at many hotels.

"You cannot raise prices from 40 euros to 100 euros to 500 euros from one day to the next. That is just not done," Platini added.

The government has now been forced to step in and ban hotels from carrying out such price rises.

Many fans remain cautious, however, with the Football Supporters' Federation predicting that just 3000 England fans will travel to the event - just a third of the 9000 tickets allocated for England for their match against Sweden.

"The amount of England fans travelling to the tournament is going to be lower than any in living memory," said the FSF's Kevin Miles.

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