UK incentivises player jabs by...


UK incentivises player jabs by relaxing travel rules for fully vaccinated

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The British government is to relax travel rules for fully vaccinated footballers. 

Players travelling to countries on the UK's 'red' travel list will no longer have to isolate for ten days upon their return, once they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The move comes a week after it was reported that as little as 35 per cent of English top flight footballers had been fully vaccinated. A Daily Mail story claimed that at two Premier League clubs, no more than six members of the first-team had been double-jabbed.

Last month saw a stand-off between the Brazilian football federation (CBF) and Premier League clubs, with some players not being released for a World Cup qualifier in Brazil.

While the clubs were acting within their rights - given the travel restrictions in place - the CBF threatened to block the players in question from playing their next league games.

Now, players will be able to travel to 'red' list countries without those harsh restrictions - but only if certain criteria are adhered to.

"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," said a British government spokesperson.

"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."

Under the new rules, fully vaccinated players will be required to remain in a club-oriented bubble when they return from a 'red' list country.

Players will still need to stay in a club-approved hotel or private residence for ten days, and will only be allowed to leave once a day to play or train.

Several Premier League managers are believed to be frustrated in their attempts to get players vaccinated.

Earlier this week, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said he could not force players to get the jab despite seeing N'Golo Kanté miss their Champions League game with Juventus having contracted COVID-19.

Speaking ahead of Sunday's meeting with Brentford, West Ham manager David Moyes said, "We want to get more players vaccinated at our club.

"There are other views and people can make their own decision but we're encouraging them to get vaccinated."

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