Although it was only Chelsea and Scottish national team midfielder Billy Gilmour who tested positive for COVID-19 since their encounter with England, the Three Lions still prefer to err on the side of caution rather than endure the risk, even if minimal, of having Gilmour’s teammates Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount potentially spreading the virus to other players and staff. As a precautionary measure, the two Chelsea players will continue to isolate from the rest of the squad until at least next Monday after coming in close contact with Gilmour last week.
After consulting with Public Health England, the national team decided to isolate the two Blues players despite the entire English squad — thus including themselves — testing negative in a battery of tests yesterday. This means neither of them will be available for England’s final group stage match against Czech Republic for Group D of the Euros.
There is a chance both will be available for England in the round of 16, depending on where England finishes in Group D. A first-place or third-place finish could set them for matches next Tuesday, whereas finishing as runners-up would mean facing their Group E counterpart on their last day of isolation.
This might seem like an overly cautious measure by the team given how England’s squad remains COVID-19 free. But as the disastrous Copa América COVID-19 handling shows, it is better to be safe than sorry.