A coronavirus infection has disrupted two European Championship teams after a positive test for Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmore also led to two England players who had to isolate themselves.
Midfielder Mason Mount and left-back Ben Chillwell were considered by British health authorities to “interact” with Gilmore during England’s 0-0 draw with Scotland at Wembley Stadium on Friday. The three players are teammates at Chelsea. The announcement came before Group D finals, with England hosting the Czech Republic and Scotland playing Croatia in the quarter-finals, which is still to be won.
All players from England returned with negative PCR tests on Sunday and sidestream tests on Monday. While Mount started for England against Scotland, Chillwell was an unused substitute.
There is no deadline for the period of isolation, which is described as a “precautionary measure”, as the English team continues to negotiate with local health authorities.
“I can’t say it’s not destructive,” said England coach Gareth Southgate. “We don’t know at the moment if they might be okay for tomorrow or if they could be out in 10 days. So there are a lot of unknowns.”
Mount and Chillwell were part of training in England on Monday morning after the announcement of the positive Gilmore test. Gilmore was already suspended from Scotland on Tuesday after being isolated for 10 days.
“He’s upset, as you’d expect,” said Scotland coach Steve Clark. – He is asymptomatic. Hope to get back to the game as soon as possible. This is a blow to us. But this is a chance for someone else to join the team. “
Gilmore was a UEFA player in Friday’s 0-0 draw. Players are tested regularly and remain in team balloons, except when in matches. The Scottish Football Association said it had kept in touch with public health in England, but did not say if anyone else was considered close and would have to be isolated.
Clark declined to answer questions about how the balloon was punctured or how Gilmore may have come in contact with the virus.
“This is not my department. “It’s for the medical department,” Clark said. “I’m just focusing on preparing the team for tomorrow’s game.”
For the second time in less than a month, the coronavirus has affected the Scottish team. Midfielder John Fleck tested positive on June 1, and six other players were told to isolate themselves and were not available for a friendly against the Netherlands.
Croatia and the Czech Republic were initially supposed to use training bases in Scotland, but they canceled those plans on May 31, citing UEFA’s concerns about local COVID-19 rules. The fear was that if one player got a positive result, other players and employees would also have to isolate themselves.
Croatia’s coach Zlatko Dalic reacted to the news of Gilmore’s self-isolation with some irritation, saying the rules were not the same for everyone.
“The conditions must be the same for everyone,” he said. “They’re not the same for everyone. I want Gilmore to recover well. And I don’t want the Scottish players to be positive anymore.”
Scotland’s training base is in Middlesbrough, England, so the rules Dalic complains about don’t apply. Dalic said he would prefer to set up camp in Scotland as the team travels back and forth to Croatia.
“We made an exception and stayed in Croatia,” Dalic said. “And we travel every three days. These are not good conditions. “
The coach said he did not expect any of his players to be afraid of catching the coronavirus and asking him not to play in Tuesday’s match.
“We have just arrived in Glasgow,” Dalic said. “We went to lunch.” We will have a meeting. I don’t expect anyone to ask for that. “
Scotland and Croatia have one point each from their two Group D matches.