Ten senior players from West Ham are currently on international duty representing their countries in a number of World Cup qualifiers and friendly matches.
The travel arrangements for these players will have been carefully managed in order to minimise the risk of catching COVID-19 or having to quarantine under the UK government’s travel restrictions.
Of course, the risk of catching coronavirus cannot be completely eliminated nor can the quarantine rules be skirted if a player tests positive.
However, West Ham, along with the majority of Premier League teams, have done their best to protect their players and this has meant any player who was due to travel to a country on the UK Red List has been prevented from doing so.
As such, Michail Antonio is only available for Jamaica’s home match against Panama and will not travel to either Mexico or Costa Rica to represent his country.
Of the other nine Hammers internationals, none were due to travel to Red List countries, with the majority of matches taking place in nations on the Amber List.
However, that does not mean all players will necessarily be available for West Ham’s next Premier League match. A positive test either prior to or post arriving in the UK would mean the player would have to isolate for ten days.
The vaccine status of a player could also affect their availability for the trip to St Mary’s.
When returning to the UK from Amber List countries, as all ten international will do, a number of steps must be taken upon arrival.
If a person is double vaccinated they must take a COVID-19 test on or before their second day in the country. If this is negative the player will be able to link up with the squad for training and the league match against Southampton.
However, if the player has not been vaccinated or has not been fully vaccinated they may not be available for the September 11 clash.
A person who is not fully vaccinated must quarantine for ten days upon arrival in the UK, or take part in the Test to Release scheme.
Even if, as expected, a player uses this scheme there is still a chance even with negative results they miss the September 11 match.
To be available for the trip to Southampton an unvaccinated player must return to the UK by, at the latest, September 7 but realistically September 6 in order to qualify for a day 5 test the day before the Hammers’ match.
With a number of West Ham players in international action on September 7 and 8, if they are not fully vaccinated they will not be involved in the trip to take on the Saints.
football.london approached West Ham for information about the vaccination status of their international players but stating medical confidentiality the club declined to comment or provide an overall percentage for the squad.
Of the 20 Premier League clubs, just three have released their figures surrounding the vaccine take-up amongst their squad. The Times has reported the vaccine details from Wolverhampton Wanderers (100 per cent), Leeds United (96 per cent), and Brentford (89 per cent), with the remaining 17 clubs citing confidentiality as a reason to decline the request for information.
With West Ham set to travel to Croatia, Belgium and Austria in the Europa League, as well as international windows in October and November, the vaccine status of David Moyes’ players is set to play an important role over the coming months.
Source by Football London