The French Government have passed a law stating anyone arriving from abroad must show proof of vaccination to visit public places such as sports stadiums.
It means sports stars of any kind must be double-jabbed to play in the country, essentially preventing non-vaccinated players from going to France.
Henry Slade (above) will travel to France for Exeter’s Champions Cup clash with Montpellier after previously expressing hesitancy over receiving a vaccine for Covid-19
Exeter face Montpellier on Sunday and Slade’s previous comments on vaccination had indicated he would not be able to take part in the fixture.
But Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter on Friday said the club have not been granted vaccine exemptions for Sunday’s clash and that Slade will be available.
This comes eight months after 28-year-old Slade, who is Type 1 diabetic, said: ‘I am not going to have a vaccine. I don’t agree with it all. I don’t think you can trust it, can you? I have encountered issues in the past with the use of vaccines and I am continually wary around this area.’
President Emmanuel Macron and the French Government have passed a law stating anyone arriving from abroad must show proof of vaccination to visit public places such as stadiums
Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter (above) said the club have not been granted vaccine exemptions for Sunday’s clash and that Slade will be available
Slade then added in a later statement: ‘When the time comes for me to make an informed decision on whether or not I take up the option of the vaccination, I will, of course, consider the thoughts of my family and friends, the latest government advice, as well as others around me.’
Exeter would not confirm whether Slade had now been vaccinated on the grounds of medical confidentiality, but the news he is set to face Montpellier is a boost for both the Chiefs and England.
Eddie Jones’ side will travel to France in the final round of the Six Nations with Slade now expected to be available for the whole championship.
Eddie Jones’ (above) England side will travel to France in the final round of the Six Nations with Slade now expected to be available for the whole championship
‘He’s available,’ Baxter said when asked if Slade will face Montpellier. ‘Henry never said he wasn’t going to get vaccinated. He said at the time he wanted to see what the situation was and that was months ago.
‘It is not for me to discuss players’ medical status. We’ve not got any players with medical exemptions so there is no Novak Djokovic situation. We are pro-vaccine and the large, large majority of our players are.
‘We have not got an issue going to France based on vaccinations. We haven’t got any player, who is actually available, who can’t go.’
Exeter will confirm their team to face Montpellier on Friday.
Chelsea’s unvaccinated players look set to MISS their crunch Champions League clash at Lille after UEFA said teams ARE expected to comply with local Covid rules ‘in principle’ after French authorities banned non-jabbed players
By Charlie Walker for MailOnline
The Blues are due to play Lille at Stamford Bridge on February 22 with the return tie against the French champions taking place in northern France on March 16.
However, France is tightening its Covid rules insisting that all professional athletes competing in the country are vaccinated against the virus.
UEFA has now said ‘in principle’, it expects teams to comply with local laws around Covid.
French lawmakers have modified the country’s coronavirus health pass into a vaccine pass.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is waiting to hear if some players may miss Lille trip in March
The Sports Ministry said on Monday there would be no exemption from a new vaccine pass law approved on Sunday, which requires people to have vaccination certificates to enter public places.
“This will apply to everyone who is a spectator or a professional sportsperson. And this until further notice,” the ministry said.
The French position is also expected to impact Real Madrid, who travel to Paris Saint-Germain on February 15 for the first leg of their knockout tie.
UEFA says it is still in discussion with stakeholders over its plans for the knock out stages of the European competitions and more guidance will be provided.
Last season, European club matches were moved to neutral venues where country’s had imposed travel bans as a result of Covid rules.
However, this situation is different in that the travel ban does not apply to everyone, only specific individuals who have not been vaccinated.
In these circumstances it would be harder to justify moving the entire fixture to another country and stadium.
Lille are due to host Chelsea in France in last 16 of the Champions League on March 16
In addition, UEFA’s president Aleksander Ceferin has spoken strongly in support of vaccination for Covid.
‘The specific conditions under which matches are played in each country are subject to the decisions of the competent authorities in that country,’ UEFA said in a statement on Thursday.
‘Each team will in principle be required to comply with the applicable rules in the country where the match takes place, but the specific competition annexes – still under elaboration – which contain special rules due to COVID-19 applicable to the knock-out phase, may provide further guidance in this regard.’