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Hibernians, Sirens facing COVID-19 travelling problems ahead of Europa League ties

Hibernians and Sirens, two of Malta’s representatives in the Europa League, are awaiting guidelines from various authorities to ensure they can travel safely for next week’s first-qualifying round ties in Liechtenstein and Bulgaria respectively.

Hibernians were drawn to face FC Vaduz at the Rheinpark Stadium in Liechtenstein while Sirens face CSKA Sofia in the Bulgarian capital on Thursday, August 27.

The Times of Malta can confirm that the two Premier League clubs have agreed to board the same charter flight that will take Hibernians to Zurich in Switzerland, where they will continue their journey aboard a bus, while Sirens will then head to Sofia in Bulgaria.

Hibernians’ main concern for the trip is that Malta has been listed on Switzerland’s quarantine list.

According to the Swiss legislation, arrivals from Malta as of Thursday must go into quarantine for 10 days and report their arrival to the cantonal authority responsible within two days.

Anyone who fails to comply with the quarantine requirement or the duty to report to the authorities would be committing an offence which can be punished by a fine of up to CHF10,000 (€9,279).

Contacted by The Times of Malta, Hibs team manager Jesmond Abela said that the club has received verbal assurances by the Liechtenstein FA that the Paolites will be exempted from completing the quarantine period and be able to continue their trip to Vaduz.

“We have been given assurances by the Liechtenstein FA that it will not be a problem and they are working to solve the issue with the Swiss authorities,” Abela said.

“However, we are awaiting to have these assurances in writing so that we will be able to have something to show when we arrive in Switzerland.”

Abela said that at the moment, Hibernians are still considering all options and if they are problems with the Swiss authorities then they will divert their plans and head to Munich on their way to Vaduz.

Sirens, on the other hand, should not have any problems in arriving in Sofia.

However, their main concern is about their trip back to Malta.

 This is because Bulgaria has been put on the amber list by the Maltese authorities, which means that the Sirens contingent will have to show that they have made a swab test before their return trip to Malta.

“The problem is that the match finishes at 10.30pm and we have no time to go to any hospital for swab tests as we have a flight a couple of hours after the match finishes. We are in contact with the Maltese health authorities for guidelines on this issue and hopefully, we will know more soon.”

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