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Douglas Costa joins Juventus exodus during period of coronavirus isolation in Italy

17:37 GMT 21/03/2020
Douglas Costa Juventus 2019-20
The Brazil international forward has been allowed to head home, with Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira having already left Turin

Douglas Costa is the latest Juventus player to have been freed from coronarvirus isolation, with the Brazilian forward allowed to head home.

Family reasons have been cited for the 29-year-old being granted permission to return to his native South America.

The reigning Serie A champions have been in quarantine since Daniele Rugani became the first high-profile footballer to test positive for Covid-19.

With competitive football shut down around the world, the Bianconeri are yet to return to training.

That has allowed star names to head out of the country despite restrictions on movement being in place.

Cristiano Ronaldo is back in Madeira, while Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira have been allowed to head for Argentina, Luxembourg and Germany respectively.

There is every chance that Juve will allow more members of their first-team squad to join extended families in their countries of origin in the coming days.

While Costa and Co have bid farewell to Italy for now, those left behind are baffled as why rules are being adjusted for those boasting celebrity status.

Italian lawyer Rinaldo Romanelli, who is studying the coronavirus pandemic, has told Corriere dello Sport: “This situation leaves me at the very least perplexed.

“The quarantine is 14 days, as stated in the Health Minister’s decree on February 21, 2020. There are no ‘discounts’ mentioned, and this was only reiterated in the following versions of the decree.

“As for ‘voluntary isolation,’ that is not a legal definition that appears anywhere. There is the trust of self-isolation for those who come from red zones, and quarantine with active surveillance for those who ‘had close contact with confirmed Covid-19 cases.’

“The definition of ‘close contact’ given by the Health Ministry includes even a handshake or having been in the same closed space, so being in the same dressing room or training together would qualify.

“Therefore, Rugani’s team-mates should’ve been put under quarantine for at least 14 days. Not up to 14 days, no reductions or alternative protocols other than for truly exceptional circumstances.”

He added: “The exceptional circumstances would be military personnel returning from overseas or health workers who in an emergency situation can be rushed back if they represent no risk for themselves or others. It certainly does not apply to players.

“What I want to know is who authorised this? There are no laws or decrees that state someone can leave their home early from quarantine, let alone leave the country.

“The fact they were allowed to leave only seven-eight days after one of their team-mates tested positive, that makes it even stranger. I hope those who took this decision considered the situation carefully, including the legal ramifications.”