Celtic avoid self-isolation crisis as elite sport granted Dubai quarantine exemption

Celtic appear to have avoided its squad having to go into self isolation after elite sport was granted an exemption as new quarantine rules for travellers returning to Scotland from Dubai were introduced.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon (far left) alongside assistant John Kennedy (centre) and coach Gavin Strachan. Picture: Giuseppe Maffia / SNS Group
Celtic manager Neil Lennon (far left) alongside assistant John Kennedy (centre) and coach Gavin Strachan. Picture: Giuseppe Maffia / SNS Group

Dubai has been added to Scotland’s travel quarantine list, with travellers returning from the country told to self-isolate for ten days.

The rule comes into effect at 4am on Monday.

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Celtic confirm positive Covid-19 case following return from Dubai trip

The requirement will apply retrospectively for passengers who have travelled to Scotland from Dubai since January 3.

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They will have to self-isolate for ten days dating from when they arrived back to Scotland.

The change could have affected Celtic manager Neil Lennon and the entirety of the Parkhead backroom team and playing squad, who touched down in Glasgow on January 8.

But the Scottish Government has reportedly confirmed sportspeople are exempt from the new rules as long as they were in the Gulf country to attend "elite training".

The Government said the change was due to a number of positive cases identified in passengers who have flown into Glasgow from Dubai since the new year.

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It said the “preventative action” will help stem the rise in coronavirus cases.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “It is evident, both in Scotland and in countries across the world, that the virus continues to pose real risks to health and to life and we need to interrupt the rise in cases.

“Imposing quarantine requirements on those arriving in the UK is our first defence in managing the risk of imported cases from communities with high risks of transmission. That is why we have made the decision to remove Dubai from the country exemptions list.

“Whether or not an overseas destination has been designated for quarantine restrictions, our message remains clear that people should not currently be undertaking non-essential foreign travel.

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“People need to stay at home to help suppress the virus, protect our NHS and save lives.”

Celtic's decision to fly to Dubai for a training camp had already come under further scrutiny after an unnamed player tested positive for coronavirus, with the case confirmed earlier on Sunday.

The squad and staff were tested on arrival back in Scotland on Friday.

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