England suffered a Covid scare as a journalist tested positive for the virus at St George’s Park, the base for the national team for Euro 2020.
The Sky Sports reporter was asked to leave the premises, along with a cameraman from the broadcaster.
Regulations have become particularly severe after Chelsea Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell were forced to self-isolate for 10 days following a chat with Scotland midfielder and club teammate Billy Gilmour – who subsequently tested positive – following the 0-0 draw in Group D.
Medical staff identified the media as a potential risk to the biosecure bubble and there has been no contact with the press from communications officers who work directly with manager Gareth Southgate and the England team as a result.
A Sky Sports spokesperson said: “A reporter is isolating in a hotel and awaiting the result of a PCR test.
“The camera operative tested negative and has left St George’s Park to self-isolate.”
The positive test comes at a nervy time for England with the news regarding Gilmour still fresh in mind, and the FA are seeking permission from Public Health England for both Mount and Chilwell to attend socially-distanced training with their teammates before their last-16 match against Germany next Tuesday.
Southgate has refused to rule out the Chelsea duo for the clash at Wembley, despite the fact they must self-isolate until Monday. The extent of their involvement will be determined by how effectively they can train prior to the match.
Public Health England initially informed the FA that Mount and Chilwell would have to train in isolation at St George’s Park until Monday, but the FA are hopeful that the pair will be gradually allowed to return to group training if they continue to record daily negative tests. Ahead of ‘Project Restart’ last summer, Premier League players were permitted to train in groups of five before resuming contact training after a fortnight.
Despite Gilmour testing positive, none of his international teammates were required to isolate unlike Mount and Chilwell. Health Secretary Matt Hancock appeared on Good Morning Britain this week and struggled to give a substantiated answer when asked why the Scotland team did not collectively isolate.
School protocol was cited as an example to the Health Secretary, which outlines that all pupils and members of staff who come into contact with a pupil that has tested positive must immediately go home and begin a 10-day isolation.
This did not happen for Scotland, and the team returned to action on Wednesday for their final game of the tournament against Croatia.
The contact that caused the most disarray was the 25-minute conversation between Mount, Chilwell and Gilmour in the tunnel following the goalless draw between England and Scotland.
Government guidelines state that close contacts of Covid cases include people who had face-to-face conversations within one metre and anyone who was within two metres for more than 15 minutes.
Euro 2020 players are tested regularly, and those who test positive must immediately self-isolate for 10 days. Any other players or staff deemed to have been in close contact with someone with Covid during the tournament also have to isolate for 10 days.
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