Mount and Chilwell are required to isolate for 10 days after coming into close contact with Chelsea team-mate Billy Gilmour, who has tested positive for Covid-19
England’s Euro 2020 plans have been thrown into chaos by the news that Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell have been forced to self-isolate.
It is currently unclear how long Mount and Chilwell are required to isolate for after coming into close contact with Chelsea team-mate Billy Gilmour after the Scotland midfielder tested positive for coronavirus.
England manager Gareth Southgate said it was not yet clear if the pair would be available for England’s final Group D match against Czech Republic at Wembley on Wednesday.
"We don’t know at the moment. There has obviously got to be quite a doubt. There are still a lot of discussions and investigations going on behind the scenes… We just have to find out over the next 12 hours or so," he told a news conference.
If they have to stay in isolation for 10 days, that would mean the duo also missing England’s last-16 game, which is most likely to take place either next Monday or Tuesday.
Southgate could be forced to hastily change his preparations for Tuesday night’s game against the Czechs after Mount and Chilwell had both been in contention to start.
Mount was scheduled to attend a pre-match press conference with Southgate on Monday night, while left-back Chilwell had been pushing to make his first appearance at the Euros.
Chelsea midfielder Mount has become a hugely important player for Southgate and his absence, if confirmed, in particular will be keenly felt. It could open the door for Jordan Henderson to make his return from injury or offer a chance to Jack Grealish.
Kieran Trippier and Luke Shaw have played at left-back for England so far during this tournament, meaning Southgate is well covered for Chilwell’s potential absence even though it is undoubtedly a blow.
Mount and Chilwell pictured in training today
Credit: Getty Images
Gilmour with Steve Clarke after the game
Gilmour celebrates with teammates after the England game
Mount and Chilwell trained with the full 26-man squad at Tottenham Hotspur’s headquarters on Monday in preparation for the Czech Republic game before being given the news they must isolate.
Gilmour had played for Scotland against England on Friday night, when he was pictured embracing Mount and Chilwell at the end of the game.
The Football Association had responded to Gilmour’s positive test by revealing that all 26 England players and the wider support team returned negative results after the latest round of Uefa PCR testing on Sunday – and they continue to follow the appropriate Covid-19 protocols.
An update from the #ThreeLions camp… pic.twitter.com/sPwBVgvGzo
— England (@England) June 21, 2021
But that has not been enough to prevent Mount and Chilwell from having to isolate, as Public Health England guidelines say that ‘anyone who has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19: face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre’.
An FA statement said: “As a precaution at this time and in consultation with Public Health England [PHE], Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount are isolating after interaction with Scotland player Billy Gilmour at Friday’s match.
“The pair will be kept away from the rest of the England players and wider support team, pending further discussions with PHE.
“The entire squad had lateral flow tests on Monday afternoon and all were again negative, as was the case with Sunday’s Uefa pre-match PCR tests.
“We will continue to follow all Covid-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE.”
Why are no other Scotland players isolating but England’s are?
By Ben Rumsby
The Football Association announced Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell would isolate as a “precaution” after they hugged Chelsea team-mate Gilmour during Friday’s game between the sides, despite the entire squad having tested negative. It appears to have adopted an ultra-cautious approach given the dire consequences of a mass outbreak.
Telegraph Sport has been told there are no close contacts who would be required to quarantine under Government rules. Examples of close contact can include: living in the same household; a face-to-face conversation within one metre; being within one metre for a minute or longer; being within two metres for more than 15 minutes.
Travelling in the same vehicle or plane can also be deemed close contact. Because elite football is operating in a semi-bubble and players are tested so frequently, it seems to have been given more leeway when it comes to these definitions.