Man City fans told to self-isolate after returning from Champions League final

A number of Manchester City fans who travelled to watch their team in the Champions League final have now been ordered to self-isolate after a number of flights reported positive coronavirus tests it has emerged.

It comes as the UK government today removed Portugal from its ‘green list’ of destinations holidaymakers can travel to quarantine free.

Thousands of Blues made the trip to Porto for the showpiece game against Chelsea on Saturday.

The club were allocated 6,000 tickets for the match at the Estadio de Dragao however many more are believed to have travelled without tickets for the final, the first in the club’s history.

For those with tickets, the club’s owner Sheikh Mansour stepped in with the club laying on a number of free flights from Manchester Airport to ferry fans in and out of Portugal.

The match was moved to Porto from Istanbul

However, a number of fans who travelled for the game now say they have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace instructing them to self-isolate.

Supporters on one City fan forum have reported as many as five flights being affected.

A City source said this evening the club had not been informed of how many fans had tested positive, or how many had been ordered to self-isolate, as passengers filled in their own passenger locator forms and had been contacted by Test and Trace directly.

However, the source said the club would remind fans who had been asked to self-isolate to heed the advice and do so.

The club were allocated 6,000 tickets but several thousand more are believed to have made the trip

A number of flights carrying Chelsea fans and journalists to the game have also seen passengers asked to self-isolate following positive cases it has been reported.

That has prompted criticism of the decision to hold the match, involving two English teams, outside the UK.

The game was originally due to be played in the Turkish capital Istanbul but was moved after Turkey City and Chelsea won their sem-finals and Turkey was placed on the UK’s ‘red list.’

Wembley was considered as an alternative venue for the fixture, but the UK Government could not accommodate the request to allow quarantine exemptions for thousands of sponsors, VIPs, and broadcasters.

Dom Farrell, a sports journalist for Stats Perform, travelled to Porto for work and received a notification from NHS Test and Trace four days after flying home, telling him he needed to self-isolate for seven days.

The club l;aid on free flights for fans with tickets

He said a colleague on the same flight had received the same notification, leading him to believe that others onboard had too.

Mr Farrell said it was unnecessary for the match to take place abroad when two English clubs were competing.

He told the Press Assocation: “If I’m being entirely honest, it shouldn’t have happened. And I’m not saying that because I have to self-isolate.

“It just seems silly it wasn’t happening in the UK.”

Portugal would be removed from the country’s ‘green’ travel list meaning people who returned 4am on Tuesday June 8 will now have to quarantine for 10 days upon their return.

For Saturday’s game it was on the green list, meaning fans had to take a ‘fit to fly’ PCR test and book another test for within two days of their return. Proof of a negative PCR test taken in the last 72 hours or lateral flow test within the last 48 hours was needed to gain entry to the stadium. These had to be paid for by fans costing several hundred pounds in some cases.

“City and Chelsea played five Champions League home games apiece this season to get to that game. I don’t see why they couldn’t have played the sixth in this country without all the dignitaries there” he added.

“I’m all right – I can put my tests through expenses at work, but there will be people who were on that flight who will have paid for a ticket, paid for all their tests, and will now maybe be losing a week of work.”

Andy Saunders, from St Albans, was told by his NHS Test and Trace app to self-isolate for 10 days after returning on a flight from Chelsea’s “appointed travel partner” — a Tui flight, he said.

He said it was “frustrating” because he has tested negative since returning home, and has received his first and second Covid vaccination jabs.

To travel for the match, he had to take a PCR test the Thursday before flying out, complete a passenger locator form at both ends and provide evidence of a test two days after returning.

Chelsea fan Andy Saunders

He told the PA news agency: “The mask-wearing from Chelsea fans [on the flight] was very compliant, and everyone behaved themselves. I think that makes it even more frustrating.”

He said it was an unnecessary risk to hold the game in Portugal.

“It’s absolutely ludicrous that it was held in Porto,” he said.

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“I live 35 minutes from Wembley, to make me get on the plane and fly over and expose me to those risks, which have clearly manifested themselves, is ridiculous.”

However, he said he did not blame the clubs, adding: “It was purely a UK Government decision not to allow any kind of quarantine waiver for people coming in.”

He also said he did not regret going and called it a “once in a lifetime opportunity”.

“For a football fan, it’s the absolute pinnacle,” he said.

UEFA, Chelsea, Tui, Ryanair and Jet2 have all been contacted for comment.

Chelsea lifted the trophy after a first-half Kai Havertz goal was enough to earn them a 1-0 victory.