Real Madrid and Chelsea players forced to be vaccinated for UCL
The French government has tightened restrictions on people without vaccination against covid-19 and that has a direct impact on those players in UEFA competition.
President Emmanuel Macron's French government has tightened restrictions on people without a covid-19 vaccination, and that will affect the Champions League clashes in France in the coming weeks, namely Lille-Chelsea and PSG-Real Madrid.
When in France, get vaccinated
France's parliament gave final approval on Sunday to the government's latest measures to tackle the covid-19 virus, including a vaccine pass contested by anti-vaccine protestors. Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted 215 in favour to 58 against, paving the way for the law to enter force in the coming days.
The new law, which had a rough ride through parliament with opposition parties finding some of its provisions too tough, will require people to have a certificate of vaccination to enter public places like restaurants, cafes, cinemas and long-distance trains. Currently, unvaccinated people can enter such places with the results of a recent negative covid-19 test. Nearly 78% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry on Saturday.
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President Emmanuel Macron, who is expected to seek a second term in an April presidential election, told Le Parisien paper this month that he wanted to "piss off" unvaccinated people by making their lives so complicated they would end up getting the covid vaccine.
So, from next month it will no longer be enough to present a negative test to enter restaurants, theatres... or the country itself. And next month there are Champions League matches. Real Madrid and Chelsea will face PSG and Lille respectively in the last 16, with Los Blancos scheduled to visit Paris on 15 February and the London side will cross the Channel to play on 16 March.
According to AS sources, all of the Madrid squad members have now been vaccinated, which would allow them to enter French territory without any problem. It was a similar case with the recent Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, when the entire squad was able to travel with no issues. Obviously any new signings in this January transfer window would have to be confirmed.
UEFA, in a statement, explained that the teams must, "in principle", abide by the specific orders of each country. European football's governing body is in the process of updating its own regulations on covid. The current rules stipulate that the home team must propose an alternative neutral venue if government restrictions affect the visiting team.