The Premier League’s quarantining stars will have to follow strict rules, including on how they travel and eat, when they return to the UK.
In order to benefit from the relaxed isolation restrictions after visiting red list countries on international duty, the affected top-flight players have had to agree to a code of conduct.
And among the protocols they will have to follow during their 10-day quarantine period they:
- Have to arrive back in the UK via private jet
- Will have to travel alone or with a fully vaccinated driver with both wearing face coverings, but can join team flights, remaining two metres or more socially distanced from others
- Will also have to use private drivers for all journeys to and from airports, team hotels and stadiums
- Can stay in hotels with team-mates but not have meals with them
- Cannot take part in any media activity
- Have to do all strength and conditioning work alone, undergo daily lateral flow tests and PCR checks on days zero, four and eight
Liverpool confirmed they are sending their Brazilian duo Alisson and Fabinho to Spain, ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid, which enables them to dodge the quarantine issues when they get back to England.
Changes to the UK red list rules mean Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay players have managed to avoid the need to isolate.
But the rules will affect the Brazilians plus Colombia and Ecuador players who return this weekend.
Fred (left) and Yerry Mina (right) are among the returning Premier League stars who will need to abide by a strict Covid protocol, which includes mask wearing, daily testing and solo meals
The quarantining stars – which does not include Roberto Firmino (centre) after he was left out by Brazil – will not be eligible to have meals alongside their club team-mates upon their return
Players like Gabriel Jesus (middle) would be unable to speak to the media at the end of matches, even if he was to produce a man-of-the-match display as part of the new protocol
The guidelines have left club bosses scratching their heads and set up the prospect of some bizarre scenarios in the coming days, such as players having to eat alone despite staying in the same hotel as their team-mates, and also travelling part of the way to games with them.
Broadcasters, who have all been informed of the reduced access plan, could also be denied the chance to speak to key figures such as a man-of-the-match if it ends up being one of the impacted players.
Certain clubs will also have to adapt which media engagements they use their players for.
But agreeing to the code was a condition of the players being granted exemption by the Government and allowed an element of greater freedom following October’s international break so they now have little option other than to stick to the rules.
Leeds United’s Raphinha (right) starred for Brazil on Friday but he will now face the restrictions
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to make special arrangements for Fred if he returns straight into the side, while Jurgen Klopp needs to make a judgement call on his Brazilian players
Following the September international break, 10 days in strict hotel quarantine without being able to train with team-mates or play was the price to pay for any player returning to the UK from a red list country.
Subsequently some players didn’t go on international duty or were not selected by their countries due to the headache awaiting them once they got back.
The guidance was relaxed this time with fully-vaccinated players allowed to stay in bespoke facilities, which they could leave but only to train and play – and only if sticking to the code of conduct rules.
The code was agreed with clubs, the Football Association, Public Heath England and Government.
And any player who breaches it would immediately lose their right to the exemption.
Liverpool are sending Fabinho and Alisson (pictured) straight to Spain given they are taking on Spanish champions Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night