Those concerned were eventually cleared after in-house and official testing, but three training sessions had to be sat out by the Gunners stars
Arsenal’s preparations for the Premier League restart on June 17 were hampered by one of their players testing positive for Covid-19, with three forced into quarantine.
The Gunners made their return to competitive action after a three-month hiatus away at Manchester City.
An error-strewn performance from David Luiz cost them dear at the Etihad Stadium, with the Brazilian defender at fault for the opening goal before then conceding a penalty and being sent off.
Mikel Arteta, who tested positive for coronavirus in March, had, however, been given plenty of cause for concern before a ball was kicked in anger.
Goal can confirm that Arsenal’s efforts to ready themselves for the resumption of top-flight football were disrupted by the enforced absence of three senior stars from training.
In the week building up to a meeting with City, a trio of performers had to sit out three sessions because one tested positive for coronavirus.
The unnamed player was instructed to self-isolate for seven days as a result, while it was also determined that he had been in close enough contact with two team-mates that they had to take similar action.
Government guidelines dictate that anyone coming within two metres of an individual who has tested positive, and spending more than 15 minutes in that vicinity, must enter a period of quarantine.
Arsenal took the appropriate action, but were always of the opinion that a “false positive” had been recorded.
That is because they had formed part of the stringent testing regulations put in place by the Premier League which delivered no positive test results.
Private samples were taken from those concerned as the Gunners sought to get to the bottom of the matter, with the supposed carrier seeing the antigen and antibody tests come back negative.
Anybody in that position is, as laid out by the government, allowed to stop self-isolating once they are cleared.
Arsenal’s tests had, however, been conducted in-house and could not be approved by those at the Premier League.
As a result, the three individuals concerned had to wait for the next round of official testing – which was carried out on the Monday leading up to a Wednesday restart.
All were given good news, allowing them to rejoin training.
Three sessions had been missed, though, by those concerned, which did Arteta’s pre-match preparations few favours.
After seeing his side come unstuck at the Etihad, the Gunners boss also witnessed his side throw away a one-goal lead at Brighton in their last outing to go down 2-1 against the Seagulls.