Boss Steve Clarke is confident the Scotland squad’s Covid-19 safety will not be compromised by allowing players home to see their families this week.
Having flown back to the UK from Luxembourg on Sunday night the 26 players returned home to spend time with loved ones before Euro 2020 begins.
Players will report back for duty on Wednesday at 7pm at the squad’s Euro 2020 base at the five start Rockliffe Hotel near Darlington.
Scotland have already suffered a Covid-19 setback when midfielder John Fleck tested positive at the squad’s Spanish base last week.
Fleck, 29, went into self isolation and six players were subsequently left out of the 2-2 friendly draw with Netherlands in Portugal by Clarke as a precautionary measure.
Clarke insists allowing the players two days of home time will not compromise the squad’s bio secure bubble ahead of the nation’s first appearance at a tournament for 23 years.
He said: “It’s safe for them to go home and spend time with their families.
“We don’t expect to see any of them going out and about.
“We had six out of the Netherlands game last week so they know how close Covid still is.
“Since the start when we brought football back we have preserved the security around the Covid bubble.
“What happened last week was just an early reminder that Covid was there.
“It’s not going to go away this year, I don’t think it will go away next year either.
“We have to learn to live with it.”
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) June 6, 2021
Fleck has been self-isolating in his hotel room in Spain and has been given the use of an exercise bicycle to keep his fitness levels up.
The Sheffield United midfielder will be allowed to exit his stint in quarantine on Friday although this could be brought forward if he posts two negative Covid tests sooner.
However Clarke confirmed the 29-year-old would still be a ‘long shot’ for the opener against Czech Republic on Monday June 14 as he has missed so much training.
Clarke’s preparations for the friendly with Netherlands were dented following the decision not to take John McGinn, David Marshall, Grant Hanley, Nathan Patterson, Che Adams and Stephen O’Donnell on the flight to the Algarve.
All six would have been able to travel to Portugal for the friendly as they hadn’t been flagged up as part of contact tracing.
However Clarke and his medical team decided the players were close enough to Fleck in recent days that they did not want to take the risk so close to the Euros.
It is the second time Clarke has suffered disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last October Aberdeen-raised Southampton midfielder Stuart Armstrong was ruled out of the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final with Israel after returning a positive test.
Armstrong returned a negative result in an SFA test but later tested positive in a supplementary UEFA test.
Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney and Celtic’s Ryan Christie were also ruled out of the semi-final against Israel, which the Scots on in a penalty shoot-out, having come into close contact with Armstrong.
Armstrong had to self-isolate for 10 days with Tierney and Christie having to quarantine for 14 days.
Scotland will be based at Rockcliffe Hotel and will use Middlesbrough FC’s training complex for the duration of the group stages.
Following a successful training camp in Spain last week Clarke believes it is vital for players to get some down time with loved ones ahead of the big kick-off.
Aberdeen defender Declan Gallagher, whilst saying it was a dream come true to be in the Euro 2020 squad, admitted the only downside was being away from his young family.
Gallagher and wife Nikki welcomed baby boy Ashton three months ago and the couple also have a six-year-old daughter Shay.
The 30-year-old will be able to spend some time with his family before meeting up with the squad again on Wednesday evening.
Clarke said: “It’s a bit of respite for the players now.
“I think it’s important for a couple of days to let them go home and relax.
“It’s just a break they need because it has been an intense period.
“With the Covid situation it’s better to let them go to their families rather than try to get the families to come to the team hotel or whatever
“I think it’s a good idea and we will reconvene on Wednesday night at our hotel at Rockcliffe and take it from there.”