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WC Qualification South America

Sanchez & Vidal set for quarantine due to coronavirus outbreak if they travel to Chile for World Cup qualifiers

7:39 PM GMT+8 12/03/2020
Alexis Sanchez Chile 2019
The Chilean health minister has confirmed anyone travelling from countries affected by Covid-19 will need to have a period of self-isolation

Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez will have to go in to quarantine for 14 days if they return to Chile for their national team's opening 2022 World Cup qualifiers later this month due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Chilean health minister Jaime Manalich has confirmed anyone who travels from Spain or Italy will be quarantined upon arrival into the country.

Sanchez is currently spending the campaign on loan at Inter in Italy, where the virus is severe. Vidal, on the other hand, is playing for Barcelona in Spain where the outbreak is continuing to rise. 

"All people from affected countries, such as Spain and Italy, have to do a surveillance period at home," Manalich said.

"Medical licenses will be given to those who need them most to replace or substitute income. We do not make any distinction by people's profession because nobody is immune to this virus and indeed the quarantine determined today for Italy applies to everyone."

Chile's opening game on the road to Qatar is away to Uruguay on March 26 before Reinaldo Rueda's squad return to the Chilean capital Santiago to take on Colombia five days later.

Manalich later told Chilean news outlet EMOL: "Of course, if these players want to work out on a machine in their homes, or all be quarantined together at Juan Pinto Duran (the national football stadium), then that's their call."

The Chilean Football Federation has reportedly declared it has obtained no information about the quarantine plans as the coronavirus outbreak impacts sporting events across the globe, leading to leagues being suspended and matches being played behind closed doors. 

There have been 23 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Chile so far and a total of 183 in the whole of South America to date according to reports, which is considerably less than Italy with over 12,200, which has killed 827 people. The Italian government has warned against all but essential travel.

The news comes after Juventus defender Daniele Rugani became the second footballer to be tested positive for Covid-19. Hannover defender Timo Hubers currently remains in quarantine and became the first footballer to contract the virus.