Suggestions that Premier League players and staff could quarantine 14 days before fixtures resume has been deemed ‘unworkable’ as clubs report six cases of positive coronavirus tests.
Talks are continuing over a safe return to Premier League action next month with clubs having returned to training in small groups this week, with English football hopeful of following the example of Germany’s Bundesliga which resumed behind-closed-doors last weekend.
Ahead of the return of the German top-flight, players and staff were kept in isolation away from family and friends for seven days. However, the Premier League’s medical advisor, Dr Mark Gillett, has warned that Public Health England guidelines insist that the only ‘truly effective’ quarantine was a two-week period of isolation.
“The advice we are getting from the government is that if you are going to isolate you have to do it for 14 days. So you will need to be in a hotel environment for 14 days to make it truly effective,” Gillett said, as per Sky Sports.
“Now that’s certainly something we are going to need to think about and consult widely with players, clubs, managers, PFA, all the stakeholders as we move through to that phase. It is certainly something that will be discussed and ultimately when we get to phase three (a return to playing) in particular we will make a decision on that and it will be one that everybody is happy with.”
According to the Telegraph, that scenario has been deemed as ‘unworkable’ and is likely to be met with ‘some resistance’ from Premier League players and staff.
Premier League clubs are believed to have been left ‘stunned’ by the suggestions of a two-week isolation period, with the league’s ‘Project Restart’ still some way off being finalised just weeks away from the intended resumption of league fixtures next month.
“This is the first we’ve heard of a possible two-week quarantine and it is not something we will be looking to make our players or staff do,” a source at a Premier League club told the Telegraph.
The news is the latest obstacle in the way of a successful restart of top-level English football, with the Premier League announcing on Tuesday evening that six positive tests of Covid-19 were recorded following the first phase of mass testing.
Three of those cases came at Watford, where club captain Troy Deeney has been vocal in his stance against a return to football at present, the forward insisting he will not return to training over fears for the health and welfare of his family.