Frank Lampard among Premier League staff and players rushing back from France

Tom Morgan
·3-min read
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard on the sidelines at the Allianz Arena - Shutterstock
Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard on the sidelines at the Allianz Arena - Shutterstock

Frank Lampard was believed to be among a host of Premier League players and staff dashing back home from French holidays to beat the UK's new quarantine travel restrictions.

The Chelsea head coach will have been keen to avoid any embarrassment after his players were banned from going on holiday to any country on the existing quarantine list as of last weekend when the club's season ended.

Chelsea declined to comment on the head coach's travel plans when approached by Telegraph Sport on Frida, but Lampard and his TV presenter wife, Christine, had been pictured this week in the resort of Antibes, a regular destination for the couple and their family.

Britain's second favourite holiday destination was struck from the UK's "travel corridor" list on Thursday night as new coronavirus cases in the country hit a post-lockdown daily high. Ministers acted after the French health ministry reported 2,699 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours, breaking its post-lockdown record.

Liverpool, meanwhile, confirmed their pre-season training camp was taking place in Austria rather than a return to the French resort of Evian-les-Bains, where they have been for the last two seasons. The club insisted the decision was not entirely based on the rate of infection in France. "It was actually a preferred option in the end anyway, albeit for different reasons than just the airbridge," a club source insisted as the Premier League champions prepared to travel to the Austrian town of Saalfelden, an hour from Salzburg.

While Chelsea players were told to avoid footballer hot spots such as Ibiza, Marbella and Portugal prior to pre-season, other clubs - including Aston Villa - appear to have been more relaxed in letting players and staff decide their own schedule.

There have been multiple sightings of Villa's assistant head coach John Terry within the last fortnight at Quinta do Lago, an exclusive Portuguese golf resort. The former England captain owns a holiday home nearby. Terry had been posting pictures of himself apparently with his wife at the resort last week. He posted an image of himself with Declan Rice on Thursday, but the picture was believed to have been taken in the UK some weeks before.

Coronavirus podcast - Quarantine: Which countries are next? 14/08/20 (doesn't autoupdate)
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Villa have a staggered return to training next week, with some players resuming on Wednesday and others on Thursday. The club was unable to clarify whether Terry would be due on duty in the coming days or whether his plans would be affected because he needed to be in self isolation under Government rules.

Travel restrictions have varied from club to club. Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli has been in Ibiza with Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and Leicester City’s James Maddison.

With such a tight turnaround between the end of Chelsea’s season and the start of next term, the club could not afford for players or staff to risk having to go into a two-week isolation on their return. Chelsea players immediately went on holiday after the club were knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich last weekend.  With Pedro Rodriguez leaving, Chelsea had three Spanish players in their squad — captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso and Kepa Arrizabalaga — who could not return home.