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Unvaccinated Premier League players to face harsher travel restrictions


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Premier League players who choose not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 face being exempt from relaxed UK travel restrictions. 

Last week, the Daily Mail reported that only 30-35 per cent of Premier League footballers have been vaccinated. The same story revealed that two top flight clubs had no more than six players vaccinated against coronavirus.

The Premier League has made moves to encourage players to receive the jab.

Such is the scale of their concern, that UK deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam has sent a three-minute address to all twenty clubs, stressing the importance of getting vaccinated.

With another international window approaching, clubs are facing further stand-offs with national associations over their willingness to release players.

Premier League clubs barred their Brazilian contingent from travelling for their country's World Cup qualifier with Argentina as Brazil remained on the UK's 'red' travel list.

People returning from countries on the 'red' list must quarantine for a period of ten days.

The Premier League had proposed a compromise where players have a five-day period in a club bubble upon their return.

But according to The Telegraph, Public Health England are set to impose harsher restrictions on unvaccinated individuals.

Unvaccinated players will be excluded from any easing of restrictions regarding 'red' travel list countries.

English top flight clubs are said to be "frustrated" with the club vs. country row.

Meanwhile, managers like Thomas Tuchel say they are powerless in trying to get players to accept the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Chelsea manager is without N'Golo Kanté for Wednesday night's Champions League game away to Juventus after the France international tested positive for coronavirus.

While Kanté's vaccination status is unknown, Tuchel said he can only do so much to nudge his players towards the doctor's.

"It would be easy to say yes now and get maybe a bolt from a lot of people. But at the same time do I have the right to say it? I'm not so sure," the German told his pre-match press conference.

"I can make the decision for myself, and everybody else needs to reflect about it and take a risk or not. I think it's a serious question and vaccination seems to be a proper protection.

"I am vaccinated, I took the decision for myself. But I don't really see myself in a position to speak out proper recommendations, I think that would go too far.

"I'm a football coach, I'm not a 100 per cent expert in this and I would leave it up to them.

"Everybody is adult enough and everybody lives in a free country and a free society, which is a god thing, so people can make their choices.

"Of course we take actions and then are responsible for them, and we don't like to lose players.

"But we are not now angry with N'Golo, of course not, we are concerned about him and worried about him, as we are with any injured players who get a kick in a game.

"We will stay in touch with him and bring him back as soon as possible. But of course we'd love to have a full squad of players and full choice."

‘I remember a lot of people turned on Fergie’ | Andy Mitten on Man United


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