Elgin City have suspended training until the end of next week after 10 players were forced to self-isolate due to a suspected Covid-19 outbreak.
A number of Elgin’s players travelled to London for Scotland’s game against England at Wembley last weekend, with some returning positive lateral flow tests for the virus upon returning.
Those who travelled, along with other players who are deemed close contacts, have now entered precautionary self-isolation for the next 10 days.
The Black and Whites are now awaiting the results of more reliable PCR tests in order to determine which players will have to continue to self-isolate.
In the meantime City have suspended all pre-season training, while friendlies against Aberfeldy and Nairn County – who are also dealing with four Covid-19 cases – have been cancelled.
Elgin chairman Graham Tatters confirmed the club have taken the precautionary measure to shut down training until next Thursday.
Tatters said: “Sensibly, a lot of the guys tested as soon as they came back.
“Some of the guys who were down in London came back with positive lateral flow tests, while some of the other guys they have been around have been contacted by track and trace.
“There are some other circumstances too and not are all of them are Elgin-based.
“We are just waiting for results of PCR testing. Some of them have done the lateral flow tests and been clear, but the lateral flow has a lower percentage of accuracy so they are just awaiting the results of the PCR tests over the next couple of days. After that we should be clearer on how many it is.
“They are all supposed to test for training. At the moment they are supposed to test twice a week at training, and then on a Saturday before they join the squad for a game.
“They have all done that. Some of them might be anomalies so we can’t take risks.
“We have taken the decision to cancel training until next Thursday until we ratify everything and find out who is positive and who is negative.
“At the moment the lateral flow tests have been a bit inaccurate so we just want to get everything right. To cancel training is just on the safe side.”
Tatters is frustrated the Auld Enemy encounter, for which 20,000 Scots are believed to have travelled to London for, has impacted on his club.
He added: “I can understand it, as we all want to go to the game. You are expecting people to have a little bit of self-discipline, there was no social distancing. It was always going to happen.
“It’s frustrating because we are setting up for pre-season, we are getting ready for the first game.
“We have lost players and we are trying to bring people in, so we are a bit frustrated with that, and then this happens.
“It’s 10 days they will have to self-isolate for at the moment. We just have to deal with it.”
Tatters is hoping for as minimal disruption as possible to manager Gavin Price’s preparations for the new League Two campaign, adding: “I just hope it does not affect the start of the season.
“This season is going to be really hard for us anyway, with Forfar and Kelty both coming into the league.
“Most of the guys have been doing Strava work during the off season so they have been keeping fit.
“But all our planning for pre-season games, our shape and organisation, has been kicked into touch.
“We have probably lost a fortnight of pre-season already.”