England‘s unvaccinated players are expected to take Covid tests every three days at the Qatar World Cup, but they should be spared a period of quarantine, which could have ruled them out of the opening fixture against Iran.
Qatar’s Covid regulations currently require unvaccinated visitors to spend five days in quarantine at their hotel. The Three Lions are due to arrive at their luxury complex, the Souq al Wakrah, on November 15, prior to their opening fixture at 1pm on November 21.
Under the rules, any players that are unjabbed would miss out on training at the Saoud bin Abdulrahman Stadium, a six-minute drive away from their accommodation, only coming back into the preparations the day before the game.
England manager Gareth Southgate will be relieved that his players will avoid quarantine
However, according to The Times, Qatar is expected to relax the rules for the 2022 World Cup.
While no decision has been taken by the Qatari authorities, they have indicated that players who took part in the FIFA Arab Cup in December did not have to isolate, but were required to take rapid antigen tests every three days and before each match.
The news will be a relief for unjabbed players and England manager, Gareth Southgate.
Despite encouragement from FIFA, the FA, Premier League and clubs, some players have been reluctant to have a Covid vaccine and remain unprotected.
At the FIFA Arab Cup in December, the Qatar authorities relaxed the rules for players
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has expressed his frustration with his midfielders, N’Golo Kanté and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who have been unable to travel on the club’s pre-season tour to the United States, because they do not meet entry requirements for vaccination.
They have been left behind to train with the U21s.
‘We cannot force,’ Thomas Tuchel, the Chelsea head coach, said. ‘It is at the moment a very normal decision to get vaccinated. Both players took the decision not to. We need to follow the rules. They cannot join us. They know about the consequences.’
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is frustrated that two of his players have been unable to travel to the US, because they do not meet the country’s entry requirements for vaccination
Ngolo Kante has been unable to travelon the club’s preseason tour to the US and he has been training with the U21s, along with Ruben Loftus-Cheek
The UK government travel guidance for Qatar states that unvaccinated visitors to the Middle East country ‘need to undergo a period of five days hotel quarantine’.
It adds: ‘A rapid antigen test is required to be taken on day five, and the individual will be released from quarantine on the same day if the test results are negative. The test will be conducted at the hotel.’
However, the medical protocol adopted for the FIFA Arab Cup stated that all players and staff should be tested on arrival in the country and it added: ‘If not vaccinated, subsequent [rapid antigen tests] were required from all participants.
‘For those that are to be at tournament venues, this must be done before every match, whereas those that are not required to be at tournament venues must get tested every three days.’