What Happens If An England Player Tests Positive For Covid?

Since cases are rising, and the men are tackling, many are asking this question...

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by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

It’s the final week of the Euros 2021, and as England makes it to the semi-finals, everyone is banking on a stellar performance against Denmark to ensure we play either Spain or Italy in the Sunday final. But there’s one big elephant in the room that could prevent our national glory: coronavirus.

Ahh coronavirus, the virus that just keeps on giving. It can’t just disrupt our holiday plans, or our human connection, it has to interrupt the football too. Or at least cause major anxiety around it. According to our investigations, ‘What happens if an England player gets coronavirus?’ is the question on many people’s minds.

We say many, because fans of club football have probably become familiar with the process by now. We’ve seen the scares, the players missing matches, how it impacts the team and your chances for league success – but the newbie England fans are just getting started, and they’re fearful all over again.

What happens if an England player tests positive for covid?

Well, never fear – we’re here to help those new to the good old game of kicking understand exactly what happens if one of the England team catches coronavirus.

The rules are simple: any player who tests positive for coronavirus must immediately isolate from the rest of the squad in order to contain the outbreak. Team-mates and staff deemed to have had ‘close contact’ with the positive players must also do the same.

We saw this happen earlier in the tournament, when England’s Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount were forced to self-isolate as a precaution because they’d been in close contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour – who tested positive in late June.

‘The pair will be kept away from the rest of the England players and wider support team, pending further discussions with PHE,’ read a statement by the FA at the time. ‘We will continue to follow all Covid-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE.’

The England squad are all in a coronavirus bubble, and subject to regular lateral flow tests. Mason and Ben broke the bubble by hugging and talking to their Chelsea teammate Billy after the England versus Scotland match – but returned to training after their period of isolation ended.

When players are forced to isolate or test positive, management will use their benched players in the main line-up. Maximum squad sizes were raised from 23 to 26 players for the 2020 Euros, in an effort to help teams cope with potential mass outbreaks. As long as teams have 13 players available, they must complete all of their Euro fixtures – meaning up to 13 players would be able to have coronavirus or self-isolate without needing to withdraw from the competition.

Even then, withdrawal is not the first option. If a team can be 13-man ready within 48 hours of a proposed game, it will be rescheduled. However, if a team is so heavily affected by Covid that they can’t immediately reschedule within 48 hours, said team is forced to forfeit the match and their opponents would receive a 3-0 win. Yes, 3-0.

So essentially, it’s in their interest to maintain the sanctity of their bubble, and they’ve largely been doing so. Let’s hope that can last another week!

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