Mohamed Salah will travel back to the UK on Friday, according to the Egypt FA.
But that still may not clear him to play for Liverpool in the top of the table clash with Leicester this weekend.
The game’s governing body in Salah’s native country issued a statement last night, revealing that the Reds star will fly to London on Friday – along with Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny – in a specially prepared privately chartered jet that will maintain his isolation.
And the Egyptian FA made clear that Salah has NOT yet returned a negative test, as swabs three times in the past week showed he had Covid-19, after travelling back home for international duty.
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The forward initially tested positive last Friday in a routine test before an international game with Togo last weekend. A second test on the same evening was also positive, and he was forced into an immediate isolation.
The Egyptian FA revealed on Wednesday that the Liverpool player had again tested positive for a third time, as he continued his isolation in the resort of El Gouna.
At the time the governing body suggested he would not travel back to Merseyside until his swab came back negative.
But now it seems he will be allowed to travel even without that official result, in a plane that has been specially prepared to provide a quarantined environment.
He is due to fly from Hurghada Airport tomorrow, and will be tested by officials on arrival in London, before he leaves the airport, according to the Egypt FA.
In a statement on Thursday they said: “It has been agreed that Mohamed Salah and Mohamed Elneny will travel tomorrow from Hurghada airport on a private plane medically equipped, hoping that their condition will soon turn negative and that they will be able to return to the participation of their teams in their next matches.”
Premier League protocols for coronavirus are clear though: if any player tests positive, they must go into a set 10 day period of isolation. Only after those 10 days can they join team-mates again – and only then if they return a negative test.
Salah’s situation is also complicated by the fact that he attended his brother’s wedding before he joined up with the Egypt national team for international duty.
Government rules state that elite-level sports people can use travel corridors when playing matches abroad, to avoid the two week quarantine rule which people entering or returning to the UK must follow.
But it is unclear whether this would still apply to Salah after he attended the wedding, and subsequently tested positive. Liverpool are hopeful though, that should be return a negative test on arrival, he will be allowed to play at the end of the Premier League’s set isolation period.
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