Vaccinated Premier League Players Can Travel to Red List countries - Govt

Soccer Football - Premier League - Aston Villa v Liverpool - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - October 4, 2020. General view of match balls during the warm up before the match. Pool via REUTERS/Rui Vieira

Premier League players who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to travel to countries on the UK's red list during the international break and will be allowed to train or play when they quarantine on return, the government said on Friday.

Many clubs refused to release players to 'red list' countries such as Brazil and Argentina last month and the Premier League is looking to avoid a similar situation that angered national federations.

The strict COVID-19 quarantine rules require those who return to England from a red list country to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days, but players will now be quarantined at "bespoke facilities" and will be allowed to train or play.

"We have worked closely with football authorities to achieve an outcome that balances the interests of both club and country while maintaining the highest levels of public health and safety," a government spokesperson told Reuters.

"Our best defense against the virus is vaccination and these new measures will allow fully vaccinated players to fulfill their international duties in the safest, most practical way possible, while allowing them to train and play with their clubs as early as possible upon their return."

The international break runs from Oct. 4-15, with the Premier League resuming on Oct. 16.

Players returning from international duty will be fully segregated from the public for 10 days and "significant public health mitigations and protocols" will be in place when they leave the facility to train or play for the club.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, who would see four of his players go into quarantine under the plan, was not impressed.

"You can choose the hotel yourself but food has to be delivered in front of your room door. You are not allowed to have any visitors. If that's the solution, I don't know where it's coming from," Klopp told a news conference.

"That would mean for the players that they go for 10-12 days with their national teams, then they go another 10 days away from their families into quarantine.

"That's 22 days! And then two weeks later there's the next international break. That doesn't sound to me like a real solution."


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