Italy agrees to ‘soft’ quarantine before Serie A return

Updated June 20, 2020

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TURIN: Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo (third L, obscured) hits the post with a penalty kick during the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against AC Milan at the Allianz Stadium. — AP/File
TURIN: Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo (third L, obscured) hits the post with a penalty kick during the Coppa Italia semi-final second leg against AC Milan at the Allianz Stadium. — AP/File

MILAN: The Italian government on Thursday agreed to ease quarantine restrictions for football teams in the case of a positive coronavirus test as Serie A prepares to return to action this weekend.

Italian football federation president Gabriele Gravina hailed the decision as “another step forward for the completion of this sporting season”.

The required two-week quarantine period for the entire team and staff in the case of a positive test for Covid-19 would have made it difficult for the championship to conclude.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza gave the green light to a “soft” quarantine, meaning that if a positive case is discovered only the infected person will be isolated. The squad and staff will be closely monitored and a quick test will be performed on the whole team on the day of the match.

Gravina added: “I now hope now with a great sense of responsibility, starting from the fans who fuel the passion for football every day, that we adopt behaviour that does not nullify the efforts being made.” Serie A returns to action on Saturday after a three-month coronavirus shutdown with four postponed games.

Torino host Parma and Cagliari travel to Hellas Verona, while, on Sunday, Atalanta host Sassuolo in Bergamo, and Inter Milan are at home against  Sampdoria.

League leaders Juventus, who have a one-point lead on Lazio, play at Bologna on Monday as they target a ninth consecutive title.

Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2020