Three planeloads of Chelsea supporters have reportedly been told to self-isolate in a worrying Covid-19 scare amid a rising number of infections in Portugal.
Blues fans travelled to Porto at the weekend to watch their side beat Manchester City in the Champions League final, but have now been forced into quarantine after at least one person on board tested positive.
It was announced on Thursday that Portugal will be removed from the UK’s ‘green list’ and demoted to amber just days after the event following an outbreak of the virus.
According to The Mail, Man City fans have also been caught up in the scare as every passenger on the 9am Ryanair flight from Porto to Manchester has also been told to isolate immediately.
Those on the flight received a notification from the NHS Test and Trace app informing them of the positive test result on board, with concerns there could be huge numbers of fans carrying the deadly virus.
Around 12,000 fans made the trip to Porto for the final, with each team allocated half of that figure in match tickets.
Many were shuttled overseas by planes put on by both Chelsea and Man City, though some went of their own accord, including those on the aforementioned Ryanair service.
Some fans reacted to the correspondence from the NHS with confusion after feeling they had overcome all hurdles to avoid a period in isolation.
“Anyone else been captured by NHS track and trace since getting back from Porto?” one supporter wrote on Facebook. “Despite two vaccinations, a negative test and no symptoms I’ve got to self-isolate for 10 days …Deep Joy!”
All travelling fans had to undergo a PCR test prior to flying out of the country, as well as 72 hours before the final itself. They also had to provide a lateral flow test two days before the game.
Whilst out in Portugal though, fans were seen mixing and partying together, mostly congregating along the Douro River, while others from both sets of teams clashed at a bar forcing local police officers to intervene.
Fans then had to take another lateral flow test three days’ prior to returning to the UK, followed by a PCR test once back on home soil.
Results of those tests may only just be coming back to fans, which could offer an explanation behind the NHS notifications.
The rising cases in Portugal could also be attributed to Sporting Lisbon’s title win just days before Chelsea and Man City fans landed in the country.
The news is particularly damning for UEFA, who had the option to move the final to the UK after the original host venue, the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, was ruled out.
Portugal was the only country to be downgraded in the Government’s latest announcement, with any holidaymakers now facing 10 days isolation on return and required to take two PCR tests.
No new countries were added to the green list despite the hopes of Malta and the Spanish and Greek isles, who were all looking to be given the go ahead to welcome UK tourists.
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