Manchester United's final Champions League Group F opponents, Young Boys, have been granted a sporting exemption from the Swiss government in order to travel to England for next Wednesday's fixture at Old Trafford.
The venue for the Dec. 8 clash was in doubt following the Swiss government's decision to add the United Kingdom to its list of countries with a "variant of concern" following the emergence of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 in recent days, with the Swiss club appealing to authorities for an exemption on Wednesday.
As a consequence of the UK's status on the "variant of concern" list, anyone entering Swizterland from the England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland must isolate for 10 days, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or posted a negative COVID-19 test result.
YB hat vom Kanton Bern eine Sonderbewilligung für die Auswärtsspiele in der UEFA Champions League und der UEFA Youth League erhalten. Somit müssen Spieler und Staff nach der Rückreise nicht in zehntägige Quarantäne.— BSC YOUNG BOYS (@BSC_YB) December 1, 2021
Weitere Infos 👉 https://t.co/TCJJHnAqvv#BSCYB #UCL pic.twitter.com/wj9ZhYt5xi
UEFA told ESPN that arrangements for the game to take place in a neutral country had been considered if Young Boys could not be granted an exemption as UEFA has been forced to move several European fixtures to neutral countries since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
However, with five other European countries -- Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands and Portugal -- also on Switzerland's "variant of concern" list, UEFA would have been forced to move the game to a nation that would enable both teams to travel freely to and from the venue.
It remains unclear yet whether United will have new interim manager Ralf Rangnick available for this match due to delays over his visa, sources have told ESPN.
United have already qualified for the round of 16 as group winners, but the game is still consequential for Young Boys, who can secure a place in the Europa League if they beat United for a second time in the group and Atalanta lose against Villarreal.