Prem stars clear to avoid quarantine upon return from World Cup qualifiers in red-list countries if double-jabbed

FULLY vaccinated players will be able to avoid hotel quarantine on their return from red-list countries for next week’s World Cup qualifiers.

But they will have to stay away from the public for ten days and only mix with team-mates for training and matches.

And with unvaccinated players still facing the mandatory ten-day stays in strict isolation, Premier League clubs could face another major bust-up with Fifa and South American countries including Brazil.

The Government has now confirmed a tweak in rules that should see clubs release their fully vaccinated stars – after last month’s chaos.

Six clubs including Liverpool and Manchester City refused to allow their Brazilian players to travel back to South America because of the strict quarantine protocols for those returning from red-list areas.

Only an 11th-hour intervention by Fifa that saw Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay withdraw their complaints saw the players involved cleared to take part in their clubs’ next games rather than be hit by a mandatory five-day ban.

But while Prem chiefs had hoped to persuade the Government to change its regulations and half the quarantine period, the new rules will only apply to fully vaccinated players.

Any players who ignored the new regulations by leaving their designated residence during the ten days would immediately face the full 24-hour hotel quarantine provisions for the entire period.

 

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A Government spokesman said: “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.

“Our best defence against the virus is vaccination and these new measures will allow fully vaccinated players to fulfil 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.”

Clubs are already unhappy that Fifa has scheduled three matches in South America during the break.

Liverpool are almost certain to be without both Alisson and Fabinho for their lunchtime kick-off at Watford on October 17 unless they can strike a deal with the Brazilian FA for them to be released from that match against Uruguay.

But with clubs aware that a number of players have ignored medical advice to get vaccinated, they could now be facing the same issue over the impact of quarantine that saw the refusals last month.

This time Fifa would not be minded to broker a compromise and the bans would be imposed, bringing another backlash from clubs who had already agreed to simply ignore world chiefs last month.

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