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Chelsea forced to shut famous academy due to Covid outbreak with U23 clashes postponed as youngsters and staff isolate

CHELSEA have been forced to shut their famous academy because of a coronavirus outbreak.

The training centre which produced players like Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Reece James in recent years will be closed all week for a deep clean.

Chelsea have been forced to shut their famous academy because of a coronavirus outbreak[/caption]
The training centre will be closed all week for a deep clean[/caption]
The outbreak does not affect the Men’s Senior or Ladies’ teams[/caption]

⚽ Read our Chelsea live blog for the very latest news from the Bridge

There have been a number of positive test results and some players and staff must now isolate for ten days.

The outbreak does not affect the Men’s Senior or Ladies’ teams as they operate in separate Covid ‘bubbles’ despite also being based at Chelsea’s training complex in Cobham, Surrey.

The youth team centre will be closed for the rest of the week and development squad and under-23 games against West Ham and Brighton this week have been postponed.

Players and staff at the academy will also have to undergo another round of testing.

The news comes as the Premier League’s ordered clubs to enforce a new Covid clampdown – or face the consequences.

League bosses wrote to all 20 clubs with the new rules, making clear sanctions will follow for breaches.

Under the revised instructions, clubs were warned they will face action for Covidiocy by their players.

That came after the outrageous breaches by players at SpursWest HamFulhamCrystal Palace and Manchester City in recent weeks.

And players were also informed they must not shake hands, hug each other in celebrations or swap shirts after games.

In the email to clubs, League bosses laid down the law for the first time since the summer when the protocols were agreed with the Government and scientific experts.

Those regulations demand players wear masks at ALL times on match-day other than when they are playing, engaged in warm-up sessions and giving socially-distanced post-match interviews.

Clubs must now ensure they follow instructions to transport first-team players and staff to matches in three separate coaches.

In addition, all external staff working for travel services or in hotels used for stays must have returned negative Covid tests, while each club must submit a risk-assessed travel plan to the League for every game.

Amid suggestions that too many hangers-on have been accessing grounds on match days, clubs have again been ordered to ensure they each have a maximum of 10 representatives in directors’ boxes.

At training ground, indoor meetings will be banned unless they are fully socially-distanced, with canteens banned other than on matchdays the previous day.

And clinical passports will be required by players and staff at training ground, with Prem-appointed compliance officers having the right to ask for spot-checks of credentials.

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