Premier League stars arriving back in the UK from their holidays may face a lengthy wait to begin pre-season training due to strict government measures, according tor reports.
It has emerged that several top-flight players may have attempted to bend the rules by visiting countries not on the UK’s red list, after initially jetting off to destinations which have experienced high levels of coronavirus.
But The Sun report that all 20 clubs have now received a warning from the league that states players who have travelled to the 155 nations struck the most by new cases must self-isolate for 14 days.
There will be no exemptions made, and even players who have tested negative for the disease will also be barred from gearing up for the new season should they visit places on the ‘red’ list.
The crackdown has been introduced to prevent players from effectively beating the system put in place to prevent further spread of the virus.
Reports suggested that stars, who may have enjoyed their reduced breaks away this summer in crisis-hit countries, returned to the UK after passing through Greece or Germany first to avoid having to isolate.
The majority of top-tier teams in England will return to training this week, but a number of their players have been embroiled in a race against time to fly back home with further travel restrictions across the globe looming.
A government spokesperson has laid out the situation facing some stars. They said: ‘If you have been in a country that is not exempt from our travel restrictions, you must self-isolate for 14 days.
‘If you travel from that country to one which is exempt for, say, four days, you will still need to isolate for 10 days when you return to the UK.’
Exceptions for elite athletes do not apply ahead of the Premier League’s return on September 12.
Frank Lampard avoided undergoing a two-week quarantine, and missing the start of pre-season, by rushing back home from his holiday in France.
The Chelsea boss was spotted soaking up the sun in the coastal city of Antibes when the news broke that France was to be removed from the UK’s ‘safe’ list.
Ministers scrambled to react after the French health ministry reported 2,699 new coronavirus infections in just 24 hours.
Top flight trio Dele Alli, Jack Grealish and James Maddison all opted to head to Ibiza during the off-season. It is not currently expected that they will have to quarantine on their return.
Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is another player to have kept fans up to date with their travels on social media after jetting abroad for a short break late last month.