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Sead Kolasinac, Mohamed Elneny test positive for COVID-19

Beyond quarantine, what happens now isn’t as clear as you’d think.

Arsenal Training and Media Day Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal players Sead Kolasinac and Mohamed Elneny have both tested positive for coronavirus while away on international duty. The Bosnian FA reported Kolasinac’s positive test today, Wednesday the 18th. Elneny tested positive on Monday the 16th, a few days after Egypt teammate Mo Salah was announced to have tested positive. The Egyptian FA today announced that Elneny and Salah have both tested positive again.

Because the positive tests occurred while abroad, the local health rules become the governing ones. Kolasinac will have to abide by the Bosnian protocols. Elneny will have to abide by the Egpytian ones, although it seems as if he was in Togo when his positive test was confirmed. Elneny is currently quarantining in Cairo and reportedly symptom-free. Presumably, Kolasinac will quarantine in Sarajevo.

Reports said that Salah would have been able to travel back to England today, one week after his positive test, if he had tested negative. It’s not clear, however, how long Salah and Elneny will have to wait now that they have tested positive again, or if a subsequent negative test (or series of negative tests) would change the calculus.

I’d guess that Arsenal and Liverpool, the FA, the international federations, and the various governments know what the requirements are for returning, how many negative tests the players must receive and if that changes things, when the players will be permitted to travel back to England, and what they must do on arrival. But as a regular person using the internet to locate that information, it is surprisingly difficult to find. It seems like the kind of thing that should not require much searching.

Both players will not be available for Sunday’s match against Leeds United. It looks as if away to Molde on Thursday the 26th is out as well. Obviously the primary concern is ensuring their health and the safety of their teammates as the general public. We wish them a speedy, uneventful recovery.