England v Iceland Nations League game under threat due to travel restrictions

England v Iceland Nations League game under threat due to travel restrictions

The Football Association is waiting to see if England’s Nations League game with Iceland can go ahead despite the UK government’s travel ban on anyone entering the country from Denmark.

The game at Wembley on 18 November has been put at risk following the government’s new ban on arrivals from Denmark, which includes all elite sportspeople who had previously been exempt from restrictions.

Iceland play Denmark in Copenhagen on 15 November ahead of travelling to London to face Gareth Southgate’s side and seem set to fall victim to the updated rules.

The FA is awaiting clarification from the government to see if the new regulations will impact on England’s final Nations League fixture. UK residents can return from Denmark but must isolate along with all members of their household for 14 days.

The rule could also have serious implications for Premier League clubs ahead of the international break. Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen, Southampton defender Jannick Vestergaard and Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are all part of the Denmark squad due to link up on Monday.

The Tottenham manager, José Mourinho, talking about Hojbjerg, said after his side’s 1-0 win at West Brom on Sunday, said the midfielder would only have his club’s blessing to attend the final game of the international break, away in Belgium. “The first game versus Sweden is a friendly, so he doesn’t go,” said Mourinho. “The next [the Nations League game against Iceland] he is suspended, so he doesn’t go, he stays at home. The third is against Belgium, and he can go to that.”

The 14-day self-isolation rule would see them miss crucial Premier League games on their return, but Fifa rules issued at the start of the pandemic allows club to withdraw players from international duty if there is a risk of coronavirus infection.

Swedish players could also be affected by the new UK government restrictions as Denmark play Sweden on Wednesday.

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelöf, Newcastle full-back Emile Krafth and Everton goalkeeper Robin Olsen are in the Sweden squad for the friendly in Brondby.

Elite competitors had been exempt from any quarantine controls because they were working in a secure environment. But the new Denmark guidelines, which came into force on Saturday morning, prevent that as the department of transport said: “Unlike other travel to the UK, there will be no exemptions to this quarantine policy.”

The UK transport secretary, Grant Shapps, wrote on Twitter: “From 4am on November 7, British nationals or residents who are returning to the UK directly or indirectly from Denmark will need to self-isolate with other members of their household until two weeks have passed since they were last in Denmark.

“The ukhomeoffice is also announcing that from 0400, Saturday November 7, visitors arriving into the UK from Denmark will not be permitted entry into the UK. This means all non-British national or resident travellers who have been in or transited through Denmark in the last 14 days will be denied entry by Border Force upon arrival.

“This decision to act quickly follows on from health authorities in Denmark reporting widespread outbreaks of coronavirus in mink farms. Keeping the UK public safe remains our top priority.”