Mason Mount playing football during coronavirus pandemic
Mason Mount has been playing football in public amidst the pandemic. Kieran Galvin/Shutterstock.

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount encountered criticism for not adhering to self-isolation guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic after he was photographed playing football at a local five-a-side centre.

The Premier League has suspended all activities until April 3, and Chelsea announced that the first-team squad entered self-isolation after winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the respiratory illness:

Advice in regards to how best avoid contracting COVID-19 has varied between countries, though social distancing has been encouraged in the United Kingdom, where it’s also been recommended people stay at least two metres away from one another in their homes.

Despite his team-mate’s diagnosis, Mount joined West Ham United star and close friend Declan Rice to play football at a five-a-side venue on Sunday, per Andy Rose and Alex Richards of the Mirror.

Alistair Magowan of BBC Sport wrote that Chelsea “have reminded Mount of his responsibilities”  in uncertain times.

The Mirror’s report included comment from a father in attendance who said he witnessed the players taking part:

“I took my 14-year-old son there for a training session. We noticed a car that looked a bit ridiculous and wondered who was in it. Then another came along with three or four people inside. My son recognised Mason Mount as the driver.
“They played a kickabout of five or six-a-side. Declan Rice was playing too. They were wearing snoods but it wasn’t obvious whether they were using them to protect other people or so they wouldn’t be noticed.
“When I went back to the car I thought, ‘Hang on.’ We’ve got someone out in public who is a team-mate of Callum Hudson-Odoi, who actually has coronavirus. It looked like none of them were taking the situation very seriously. I would imagine their clubs would be horrified.”

While younger people are believed to be more resistant to the coronavirus, it’s still possible those people can carry symptoms and pass the illness on to others who would be at far greater risk.