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
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.
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.