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Euro 2020 COVID rules: What happens when a player tests positive for COVID-19?

Bill Gilmour, Scotland, Euro 2020 covid rules
(Image credit: PA)

UEFA has had to enforce strict Euro 2020 COVID rules for this summer's tournament, after the coronavirus pandemic caused major disruption to the football calendar last year – including forcing a 12-month delay to the Euros themselves.

So far, a number of high-profile players, such a Portugal's Joao Cancelo and Scotland's Billy Gilmour, have tested positive during the tournament, while others such as Spain's Sergio Busquets and Scotland's John Fleck, tested positive prior to the tournament.

Euro 2020 COVID rules: How long do players with COVID-19 have to isolate?

Players at Euro 2020 are tested regularly, and those who are positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 10 days. Any other staff or players who have been deemed to have been in close contact with them since developing coronavirus also have to isolate.

Euro 2020 COVID rules: How many Scotland games will Billy Gilmour miss?

For Scotland, this means that Billy Gilmour will be unavailable for the final group game against Croatia on Tuesday June 22. If Scotland progress, he will also miss the round of 16 games, due to be held over June 28 and 29. He would return for the quarter-finals on July 2 and 3 if Scotland are still in the tournament. A nation can dream.

Euro 2020 COVID rules: What happens to matches if players get COVID-19?

Euro 2020 squads were enlarged from 23 players to 26 to account for the possibility that some teams could be hit by COVID outbreaks.

Euro 2020 substitution rules mean that teams should announce matchday squads of 23 players (including three goalkeepers), but if multiple players have to isolate, the game will still go ahead providing the team can name 13 players in its squad: a minimum 12 outfield players plus one goalkeeper. 

If they can't, the game can be postponed by up to 48 hours. If the team with the outbreak still can't meet the minimum requirements for a matchday squad, they will forfeit the game and 3-0 defeat will be handed to them.

Euro 2020 COVID rules: Can players with coronavirus be replaced?

Outfield players can't be changed once the first game has been played, but UEFA states that "goalkeepers can be replaced during the tournament in the event of physical incapacity, even if one or two goalkeepers in the squad are still available", leaving open the possibility that they can be. However, players that have been replaced cannot then return to the squad.

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