Gareth Southgate hits out at England duo's 'bizarre' quarantine while Billy Gilmour's team-mates spared

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Gilmour chats with Chilwell and Mount last Friday - Mark Pain / Alamy Live News
Gilmour chats with Chilwell and Mount last Friday - Mark Pain / Alamy Live News

Gareth Southgate attacked the "bizarre" and "full of contradictions" decision to isolate Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell while sparing Scotland teammates of Billy Gilmour.

The England manager's outburst came after Croatia, Chelsea staff and other leading figures expressed concern over apparently inconsistent approaches to Covid-19 protocols at Euro 2020.

Prominent public health experts told the Daily Telegraph it was highly unlikely Mount and Chilwell were at greater risk than any of the Scotland players sharing changing facilities with Gilmour, who tested positive on Monday.

Speaking ahead of England kicking-off in their group decider against the Czech Republic, Southgate appeared to agree with the likes of Petr Cech who had branded the differences in approaches as "incomprehensible".

"It’s a bizarre situation really," Southgate told ITV. "They’ve spent 120 seconds too long in a fairly open space. It’s full of contradictions for me but we have to get on with it. Frankly I don’t understand it at all - there are teams travelling around by plane, coach, bus in enclosed spaces for hours. Our two boys have been pinged for something which is….I don’t get it."

The England pair were ruled out until Tuesday after consultation between the FA and Public Health England concluded they had been "close contacts" of Gilmore's. Video cameras in the Wembley tunnel on Friday are understood to have captured Mount and Chilwell spending between 15 and 20 minutes unchecked talking face to face with Gilmour while Southgate did his media rounds.

Confirmation that they must remain separated for another week caused major disruption for Southgate with just hours to spare before Tuesday's group decider against Czech Republic.

Petr Cech, Chelsea's technical and performance advisor and a former Czech Republic international, was among a host of leading figures to openly express confusion at Scotland being apparently let off the hook. Citing the "entire Scottish team" sharing "the dressing room, hotel, coach and plane" as well as dining together, he questioned how they could have been deemed to have had less contact with Mount and Chilwell. "It is incomprehensible," he wrote on Instagram.

Gary Neville, the former England coach who is working with ITV for the tournament, branded the situation an "absolute joke", while former captain Gary Lineker tweeted it was "utterly absurd".

The Scottish FA has yet to fully explain how teammates avoided close contact with Gilmour - but insisted it was following Public Health England protocols. However, Gabriel Scally, a professor of public health at the University of Bristol and a member of Independent Sage, said it was hard to fathom how they could have avoided closer contact than the England pair. "It's just terribly unfortunate, and I would have thought the chances were far greater in a changing room with some of the Scottish players," he added.

The tunnel at Wembley had been perceived by the FA to be a relatively low risk area as it is well ventilated. However, the England team has stopped short of criticising the Scottish decision to give 25 of their players the green light to carry on.

Croatia were understood to be privately angered by the inconsistencies. A video, subsequently deleted from Instagram, shows Gilmour playing table tennis with leading teammates Andy Robertson and John McGinn.

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic stopped short of attacking Scotland, but said ahead of the match that there is always "psychological pressure and uncertainty" around Covid. "So we are afraid something would happen, they test positive and we all end up isolating and having those serious issues," he said. "I hope nobody else is positive. I don't want this to expand. Hopefully, it's just a single case."

The situation facing Mount and Chilwell has prompted criticism of the Government's 10-day self-isolation rules for those who have come into significant contact with a potential Covid sufferer.

However, Prof Robert Dingwall, a public health specialist at Nottingham Trent's School of Social Sciences, suggested football would struggle to justify involvement in the same daily-testing trials that allowed Michael Gove to continue working after he was alerted by the NHS app following a trip to the Champions League final.

"The problem would be the risk of asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic infection of other players," said Prof Dingwal. "There is still a fair bit of uncertainty and contention about the significance of this but I imagine that the tournament environment would make the medics particularly risk-averse. If Gove tests daily, he can still reduce his interactions with other people throughout the day, which is not really possible in training sessions or other squad contexts."

He added that anger over images showing Scotland players embracing Gilmour after the goalless draw with England on Friday were a red herring. "Generally, the message would be that there is near-zero risk of transmission outdoors, especially with brief and transient encounters," the scientist added.

Gilmour has been isolated since his positive Covid test was returned on Monday morning. As he is asymptomatic, and tested twice weekly, he could not backdate a 10 day quarantine any further.

Mount and Chilwell were separated from the England squad by Monday afternoon. After detailed consultation with Public Health England on Tuesday, the pair were ruled out of the Czech Republic match, and told they must "must isolate up to and including next Monday".

02:59 PM

That's all the live updates from me today

But stay across Telegraph Sport as build-up to England vs Czech Republic begins.

02:44 PM

Wojciech Szczesny believes must-win scenario can help Poland against Sweden

Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny insists the make-or-break nature of the final group game against Sweden has simplified their approach.

With just one point in Group E, the Poles have to win if they are to make the knockout stage.

Three years ago at the World Cup in Russia, Poland were the first European team to be eliminated after losing their opening two matches but the point they secured against Spain last time out has given them a lifeline.

Szczesny said the atmosphere within the squad is completely different to 2018.

"After our first match at the 2018 World Cup, when we still had two matches ahead of us and could qualify from the group, there was no spirit in the team," he told Euro 2020.com.

"Here, after the first match, even though we'd put ourselves in a very difficult position, you could tell we had faith and the will to qualify.

"Mentally, it is pretty easy when you know you have to win the match. No need to speculate.

"So the mental approach to such a game is much simpler because you don't leave any energy for the last few minutes or the next match.

"You play for your life, and I think that can help us."

PA

02:25 PM

Portugal must recover combative streak, says Pepe

Portugal will have to recover their intensity and hunger to beat France in their final Euro 2020 group game after a disappointing 4-2 defeat by Germany, defender Pepe said on Tuesday.

"We need to be what we have always been, a very combative team which plays with solidarity," Pepe told a news conference ahead of the game in Budapest, a re-run of the Euro 2016 final which Portugal won 1-0 after extra time.

"After Germany we were very sad but we've thoroughly analysed our performance and we want to show what we're worth. The last match wasn't good, that's true, but tomorrow we have the chance to prove our doubters wrong and play at our best level."

Monday's results mean the holders only need to draw against France to clinch their place in the last 16 while they could even qualify with a defeat, just as long as Hungary do not beat Germany in the other Group F game.

Pepe is one of the few survivors of the team that won Euro 2016 with what many believe was an inferior squad but he said the current team needs to match its predecessor in work rate and desire.

"We need to play closer together, support each other, we've shown what Portugal is like we have many quality players but we also work so hard together which is very important and what led us to be so respected across Europe," he added.

"Whenever Germany got a corner against us they were really fired up and showed how much they wanted to beat us. We have to emulate that, we have to want it as much as Germany did to make it through.

"We need to stay calm take a deep breath. If we put all our quality out there, we have every chance of winning."

Reuters

02:04 PM

At least one of these is expected to start tonight...

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01:44 PM

Wembley to hold 60,000 for Euro 2020 final - as Angela Merkel casts doubt on 'packed stadiums'

Angela Merkel on Tuesday became the latest European leader to cast doubt on Wembley’s staging of the European Championship semi-finals and final – as the Government agreed to allow more than 60,000 fans to attend them.

Germany’s chancellor said she opposed “packed stadiums” for the matches, while the European Union’s top lawmaker on health issues, Peter Liese, went further by writing to Uefa urging it to strip the UK of the games.

That was before it was confirmed that capacity at the fixtures would be increased from around 40,000 in defiance of calls led by Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, who on Monday announced plans to hijack the final and bring it to Rome.

Read the full story here

01:25 PM

As does Ben Chilwell, along similar lines...

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01:23 PM

Mason Mount speaks...

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01:11 PM

How much will Gareth Southgate rotate tonight?

By Mike McGrath

With the pathway sealed to the knockout stages ahead of tonight’s game with Czech Republic, Gareth Southgate has the opportunity to rotate his squad and keep players fresh like he did at the World Cup three years ago.

In Russia he made eight changes for the final group game, with the likes of Phil Jones, Fabian Delph and Trent Alexander-Arnold came in for the game against Belgium. The dead-rubber was also the only game Marcus Rashford has started at a major tournament.

England will want to build momentum after their disappointing draw against Scotland but there is a case for making changes to involve more players and keep senior players fresh for the business end of the tournament, which worked for Southgate in 2018.

The likelihood is that Southgate will pick a strong team tonight but he does have options should he want to change it up.

Harry Kane’s form has been in sharp focus following two games with no shots on goal so far in the tournament. Southgate says he will start against the Czechs but having him on the bench worked at the World Cup where he still ended up with the Golden Boot.

Changing his team would also give Jack Grealish his first start of the tournament. Fans were chanting for him against Croatia and then cheers when his face appeared on the big screen for the Scotland game. With Mason Mount in isolation, Southgate is expected to get Grealish in his team.

Likewise Jadon Sancho has been in the stands or on the bench and looking to show why Manchester United are willing to negotiate a huge fee to land him from Borussia Dortmund.

Jadon Sancho. - GETTY IMAGES
Jadon Sancho. - GETTY IMAGES

Jordan Henderson has been on the bench for two games and, if fit enough for the squad after his groin operation, should be in contention for a place. And Harry Maguire has been battling his way back from ankle-ligament damage and has declared himself fit for action.

After a gruelling season and the threat of coronavirus, the extra places in England’s 26-man squad allows for rotation. It would be dangerous to try and manipulate an easier second-round match, which would lose home advantage and would potentially make it harder later in the tournament.

On the other hand, rotating would give Southgate’s senior players energy left in the tank for the next fortnight when they need it.

12:53 PM

Team news... Jack Grealish set to start for England tonight

Jack Grealish is set to be handed his chance to ignite England’s European Championship campaign by starting against Czech Republic at Wembley tonight.

The Aston Villa captain is expected to take the place of Mason Mount, who has been forced into isolation along with Chelsea team-mate Ben Chilwell.

Read Matt Law's full story here

12:38 PM

Petr Cech speaks his mind on the absurdity of Mount and Chilwell self-isolation...

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12:28 PM

Denmark fans told they can travel to Amsterdam for last-16 match

Denmark fans have been told they can travel to Amsterdam to watch Saturday's Euro 2020 round of 16 tie which Wales supporters are banned from.

It was reported on Monday that Wales and Denmark fans would not be allowed to attend the game because the two nations are not on the Holland's safe country list.

But Erik Brogger, director of Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Citizen Service, told a press conference on Tuesday that Danish fans could avoid quarantine in Holland if they entered and left the country within 12 hours.

The Danish authorities said fans could travel if they present a negative PCR test that is a maximum of 72 hours old.

They must go into isolation for 10 days - but with the opportunity to test themselves out of it on day five - and bring a quarantine certificate that shows where you want to stay in isolation.

The news will not go down well with Wales fans, who were told on Monday that they were banned from the fixture.

Wales' health minister Eluned Morgan said police in Amsterdam would not be "letting Welsh fans into the country."

"We have had some guidance from the police in Amsterdam who have told us that they will not be letting Welsh fans into the country," Baroness Morgan told a press briefing.

"And so that means that we would encourage you of course to stay here and watch the matches carefully.

"If local authorities come forward and ask us for the setting up of fan zones, then of course we will as a government consider that and publish guidelines for how that could be done in a safe way."

Football Supporters' Association Cymru chairman Vince Alm told BBC Wales fans had been treated like "second-class citizens".

"It's very, very disappointing that we weren't made aware of this at the start of the competition," Alm said.

"I think UEFA should have looked at these venues and made sure there was a level playing field."

PA

12:11 PM

There are some interesting quotes coming out of the Croatia camp ahead of tonight's match...

Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said his squad are scared of facing Scotland tonight after Billy Gilmour tested positive for coronavirus.

"We are concerned but we have to do this match. We have to play and try to win the three points.

"We have just arrived in Glasgow, had lunch and we are due to have a meeting. But I don't expect anyone to say they don't want to play.

"All of them are afraid but, nonetheless, we have to play, concentrate on the game and forget everything else. That's how the situation is for this entire Euros. All of us have been negative until now.

"We are taking all the precautions and implementing all the measures. But we just have to see what happens."

11:52 AM

Jason Burt: Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell's self-isolation serves as a warning to the entire tournament

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are hardly ‘Covidiots’ but their isolation from the England squad serves as a warning as to how easily this Euro 2020 campaign could collapse.

It is such a shame for them but England had little option but to rule the pair out after it emerged they had spent around 20 minutes talking to their Chelsea team-mate Billy Gilmour, who has tested positive for coronavirus, after the goalless draw against Scotland last Friday.

Neither Mount nor Chilwell were wearing masks, they were stood within six feet of Gilmour and that lasted for more than 15 minutes. That is the very definition of a ‘close contact’ and, unfortunately, it is a simple as that with the rules from Public Health England very clear. Even if PHE had given the go-ahead it would not have been worth the risk of playing them against the Czech Republic.

Read the full piece here

11:38 AM

And here is the FA's statement on the decision:

Having placed Mount in Chilwell into ‘precautionary isolation’ on Monday, the FA released a statement on Tuesday that read: “We can confirm that Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount must isolate up to and including next Monday [28 June]. This decision has been taken in consultation with Public Health England.

“The pair were confirmed overnight as close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour after his positive test following last Friday’s match.

“Chilwell and Mount will isolate and train individually in private areas at England’s training base St. George’s Park, with the rest of the squad returning there after tonight’s fixture against Czech Republic at Wembley.

“We will continue to follow all Covid-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE.

“The entire England squad and staff had lateral flow tests on Monday and all were again negative, as was the case with Sunday’s UEFA pre-match PCR tests. Further tests will be carried out as and when appropriate.”

11:33 AM

More from Matt law here

The news is a big blow to England manager Gareth Southgate, who has made Mount one of the most important members of his squad and the midfielder is set to be replaced by either Jack Grealish or Jude Bellingham tonight.

Chilwell is yet to play a single minute for England at the tournament after missing out on the matchday squad for the Croatia game and then being an unused substitute against Scotland.

Mount and Chilwell were pictured talking to Gilmour on the Wembley pitch at the end of the draw with Scotland. But it is believed that a later meeting in the tunnel, which lasted for around 20 minutes, has forced them into isolation.

11:20 AM

Gary is not happy with the situation...

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11:17 AM

Why Scotland players don't have to isolate, but Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell do

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell have been ruled out of England's European Championship clash with the Czech Republic on Tuesday and must remain in isolation until the start of next week.

England's preparations for their final Group D match were thrown into chaos on Monday when it emerged the Chelsea pair had been in contact with Scotland's Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for coronavirus.

On Tuesday, the FA confirmed Mount and Chilwell "must isolate up to and including next Monday (June 28)". Steve Clarke's squad have been given the green light to continue only without Gilmour for the crunch match against Croatia.

Telegraph Sport looks into why the two countries' responses to the positive test appear to differ - and what happens next here

11:06 AM

Three points for England tonight could be very important in light of the news

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10:55 AM

Plenty of questions emerging about this saga

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10:38 AM

More on the situation from Matt Law - when will the pair be ready to next start a game?

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell have been ruled out of tonight’s European Championships game against Czech Republic and are also set to miss the round of last-16 after the FA confirmed the England duo must remain in isolation up to and including next Monday, June 28.

Chelsea pair Mount and Chilwell were close contacts of their club team-mate Billy Gilmour, who has tested positive for coronavirus, and, following consultation with Public Health England, must isolate until next week.

England have already qualified from the group stages of the European Championships, but their last-16 route will not be confirmed until after the result of the clash against the Czechs tonight.

Should England win the group, then they will play in the last-16 at Wembley next Tuesday night, but it seems inconceivable that Mount or Chilwell would start that game, having trained on their own for a week.

Mount and Chilwell would not be able to prepare for the game at all with their team-mates or work on any tactics or team shape.

10:20 AM

BREAKING NEWS: England pair to take further isolation from the rest of the EURO 2020 squad

Here is the statement from the FA:

We can confirm that Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount must isolate up to and including next Monday [28 June]. This decision has been taken in consultation with Public Health England.

The pair were confirmed overnight as close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour after his positive COVID-19 test following last Friday’s match.

Chilwell and Mount will isolate and train individually in private areas at England’s training base St. George’s Park, with the rest of the squad returning there after tonight’s fixture against Czech Republic at Wembley.

We will continue to follow all COVID-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE.

The entire England squad and staff had lateral flow tests on Monday and all were again negative, as was the case with Sunday’s UEFA pre-match PCR tests.

Further tests will be carried out as and when appropriate.

10:18 AM

Recap of today's Euros news so far...

  • Uefa has no plans to replace Wembley as host stadium of the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final

  • But... EU's top health lawmaker urges Uefa to move it as pressure continues

  • Elsewhere, Uefa has blocked plans to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for Germany’s European Championship match against Hungary due to political context

09:57 AM

Spanish players respond to criticism

Spain players were not happy with criticism from former Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart.

Van der Vaart is a commentator for a Dutch television channel at the European Championship and reportedly criticised Spain for its poor performances at the tournament. Spanish media quoted him as saying that the team was "horrible" and only "passes the ball from one side to the other."

Van der Vaart was a former Real Madrid and Real Betis player. He was a member of the Dutch team that lost to Spain in the 2010 World Cup final.

Spain midfielder Koke says Van der Vaart was "seeking his moment of glory" and that he remembers "seeing him in the World Cup final."

Forward Pablo Sarabia says Van der Vaart "made a mistake" with his comments "especially being a former player." Sarabia says his only recollection of him is from the 2010 World Cup "when things didn't go well for him."

Spain faces Slovakia in its final Group E match on Wednesday. They need a win to secure a place in the next round after consecutive draws against Sweden and Poland.

09:37 AM

A reminder that there is a game this evening, despite the Covid chaos...

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09:10 AM

EU's top health lawmaker urges Uefa to move Euros final from London

The final of the Euro 2020 football tournament should not be played in London due to safety concerns over the faster spread of the coronavirus in Britain, the European Union's top lawmaker on health issues said on Tuesday.

On Monday, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called for the match to be moved from England due to rising COVID-19 cases there, but Uefa said it had no plans to replace Wembley as the host stadium for the semi-finals and final.

However, the pressure on Uefa is continuing.

"Our health is priority. The spread of the Delta variant makes it impossible for 40,000 spectators to view the final match in London's stadium," Peter Liese said in a statement on Tuesday.

Britain is seeing a spike in cases due to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.

The lawmaker, a physician by profession who speaks on health matters on behalf of the European People's Party (EPP), the largest grouping in the European Parliament, sent a letter on Tuesday to Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin, urging him to choose another location for the final, based only on public health criteria.

"The alternative venues should not be chosen by Uefa according to where the most spectators are allowed, but according to which stadium or city has the best hygiene concept and where health protection is best guaranteed," said Liese, who is a member of the same party as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Liese also urged Ceferin not to consider Budapest as an alternative location, because it is the only European capital hosting the tournament that has allowed full capacity at its stadium.

Reuters

08:49 AM

More on the situation from Ben Rumsby

Uefa has blocked plans to light up the Allianz Arena in rainbow colours for Germany’s European Championship match against Hungary on Wednesday in response to anti-LGBTQ+-legislation passed by the latter nation.

The mayor of Munich, Dieter Reiter, sought permission for the display after the Hungarian parliament last week passed a law banning the sharing of information considered to promote homosexuality or non-binary gender identities among under-18s.

Uefa said: “Uefa is a politically and religiously neutral organisation. Given the political context of this specific request – a message aiming at a decision taken by Hungarian national parliament – Uefa must decline this request.”

European football’s governing body made the decision despite having previously ruled Germany would face no action over captain Manuel Neuer’s wearing of a rainbow armband during Euro 2020 games because he had been “promoting a good cause, i.e. diversity”.

Uefa also appointed an ethics and disciplinary inspector to investigate homophobic banners during Hungary’s 3-0 defeat by Portugal last Tuesday, the day the Hungarian parliament passed its draconian legislation.

08:41 AM

Uefa declines Munich's application to have stadium illuminated in rainbow colours for Germany-Hungary

Uefa has declined the Munich city council's application to have its stadium illuminated in rainbow colours for Germany's final group game against Hungary at the European Championship.

The governing body says it understands the intention behind the proposal but it "must decline this request" because of its political context.

Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter's application on behalf of the council made clear that it was to protest a law passed by Hungarian lawmakers last week that prohibits sharing with minors any content portraying homosexuality or sex reassignment. The law has been denounced as anti-LGBT discrimination by human rights groups.

Uefa says it believes "that discrimination can only be fought in close collaboration with others" and that it has proposed that Munich illuminates the stadium with the rainbow colours on June 28 for Christopher Street Day or between July 3-9 for the Christopher Street Day week in the city.

Allianz Arena illuminated in the rainbow colours. - GETTY IMAGES
Allianz Arena illuminated in the rainbow colours. - GETTY IMAGES

08:23 AM

The Euros final is not going anywhere...

Uefa has no plans to replace Wembley as host stadium of the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final after Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called for the final to be moved from Britain due to rising COVID-19 cases.

The United Kingdom recorded 10,633 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths on Monday, taking its toll to 4.63 million confirmed cases and 127,976 total deaths.

Uefa said on Friday it had a contingency plan to take the final away from Wembley unless the UK agreed to exempt travelling foreign fans from 10-day quarantine rules.

"Uefa, the English FA and the English authorities are working closely together successfully to stage the semi-finals and final of EURO in Wembley and there are no plans to change the venue for those games," a Uefa spokesperson said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

Wembley is scheduled to host the semi-finals on July 6 and 7 before the July 11 final.

Italian PM Draghi said on Monday he was in favour of hosting the final in Rome, rather than in "a country where infections are rising quickly".

The Times newspaper reported on Friday that Budapest was the alternative venue being considered if Wembley was not able to accept travelling supporters.

08:02 AM

Gareth Southgate: 'I warned that players needed to have the vaccine'

England manager Southgate called for footballers to be vaccinated back in March because of the risks attached to playing football during the coronavirus pandemic.

Southgate has seen his plans for England’s final group game against Czech Republic thrown into doubt after Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell were forced to self-isolate as a precaution because of an interaction with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for coronavirus.

On whether or not players at the European Championships should have been vaccinated, Southgate said: “In terms of vaccinations, you need to go back to my suggestions in March around that, when I was fairly firmly shouted down for daring to suggest anything of the sort.

“I just made an observation that I thought given the tournament, given that we were asking professional sportspeople to go into these sorts of events and travel, and go back home to their families, that there would be a point where they were at greater risk of catching the virus than others."

Read the full piece here

07:45 AM

Q&A on Billy Gilmour's positive test for coronavirus

Ben Rumsby has answered the key questions on the less than ideal scenario facing England ahead of tonight's match, including:

Why are no other Scotland players isolating but England’s are?

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.

Read the full Q&A here

07:16 AM

Good morning, there was good and bad news for England last night

England have qualified for the Euro 2020 knockout phase without kicking a ball on a chaotic day that saw Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell go into isolation after Scotland's Billy Gilmour tested positive for coronavirus.

The Scottish Football Association announced on Monday morning that the 20-year-old midfielder had returned a positive Covid-19 result and would miss Tuesday's crunch Group D encounter with Croatia.

Gilmour helped boost Scotland's qualification hopes with a man-of-the-match display in Friday's 0-0 draw at Wembley, where he interacted with Chelsea team-mates Mount and Chilwell.

The England pair are having to isolate on the eve of tonight's game against the Czech Republic as a precaution following consultation with Public Health England, with discussions about the situation ongoing.

The fact Gilmour's positive result appears to be having a bigger impact on the Three Lions than Scotland has left Gareth Southgate confused, but any stress over qualification was removed by results elsewhere on Monday.

Four of the best third-placed teams at the rearranged Euros progress to the knockout phase, with England's four-point haul now guaranteed to put them in that bracket whatever happens against the pool-leading Czechs.

Belgium and Holland topped their respective groups with victories against Finland and North Macedonia on Monday, while Denmark thumped Russia to progress and Austria saw off Ukraine to also finish second in their group.

That left Finland and Ukraine in third place in Groups B and C respectively on three points each - meaning England, Switzerland, Sweden, Czech Republic and France can celebrate reaching the last 16.

Southgate is braced to be without Mount and Chilwell for tonight's match, despite the pair producing negative lateral-flow tests on Monday afternoon following negative results in Sunday's round of Uefa pre-match PCR tests.

Asked about the duo's availability for the group decider, the England manager said: "Well, we don't know at the moment.

"There's obviously got to be quite a doubt, but there's still a lot of discussions and investigations going on behind the scenes, so at the moment they're isolating and we just have to find out over the last 12 hours or so."

He added: "In terms of the team, we'll need to go through details with the players in the morning really, so we'll have to know by first thing in the morning of their availability and if not we'll just have to play on without them."

PA

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