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Premier League set for chaos as unvaxxed stars must isolate for 10 days if they have contact with anyone Covid positive

UNVACCINATED Prem stars MUST isolate for 10 days if they are in close contact with anyone who is Covid positive.

The new hardline directive under the Government’s Plan B, which has NO exceptions, has already left some Premier League squads skeleton-thin.


Watford are understood to fear they will be struggling to get a side for their Boxing Day game at Wolves with nearly half of Claudio Ranieri’s squad unable to train.

But despite the concerns and an urgent plea to all clubs to get every player jabbed, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters plans to confirm the Festive football programme is ON at a summit meeting on Monday.

Masters called the emergency meeting after half of this weekend’s programme was wiped out by an Omicron wave.

The chief executive, though, laid down the law in a letter sent to all 20 clubs as he put the onus on them to drum home the need for vaccinations to prevent a serious shutdown.

Masters wrote: “Everyone needs to be aware of the importance of completing the season, while maintaining the safety of players, staff and fans.

“We have collectively highlighted the importance of vaccination and it has never been more important.”

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He warned: “This is not only for the obvious benefit of protecting against Covid.

“Government guidance now dictates that unvaccinated close contacts of positive Covid cases must isolate for 10 days, and there is no exemption or exception to this.

“Please strongly encourage those who are not fully vaccinated to become so, and the many who are, to get their booster, which appears to be the only significant layer of protection against the Omicron variant.”

The new regulations mean that any unvaxxed player who is a close contact with a positive person has to isolate even if they repeatedly test negative themselves.

It is an extra headache for club chiefs, some of whom are set to urge the League to apply a “circuit breaker” which would potentially postpone the entire Christmas fixture list.

But League bosses remain determined to plough ahead with matches and are not at this stage considering a Boxing Day shutdown, with Masters working overtime to keep the show on the road.

Masters and other senior League bosses hope the “emergency measures” brought into operation over the past seven days – including daily lateral flow tests as a condition of entry to training grounds – can stem the fixtures bleeding.

So far, nine games have bitten the dust through Covid this month, with Spurs now THREE matches behind.

This weekend’s matches involving Manchester United, Leicester, Watford, Brentford and Norwich were all postponed because of training ground closures.

Liverpool and Chelsea both played their Prem games on Thursday despite the Covid outbreaks which meant Virgil Van Dijk, Fabinho, Curtis Jones, Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz – who has now been cleared to return to action – were on the sidelines.

But unless a further dressing room wave leaves either side unable to field 14 fit players or their training grounds are closed, Liverpool’s match at Tottenham and Chelsea’s visit to Wolves will go ahead on Sunday.

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And while club bosses have the opportunity to press for a vote to temporarily close down the League – which might require a 14-6 majority in any case – Sun Sport understands Prem chiefs want to confirm that Boxing Day and subsequent Festive fixtures will remain on.

After the meeting with club execs there will be follow-up Zoom calls with managers and club captains, when the vaccine message will again be reiterated.

The League is hopeful that the decisions taken this week will allow issues around a number of training grounds and clubs to ease over the coming days.

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