Chelsea's Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge will be made available to National Health Service (NHS) workers for free during the coronavirus pandemic.

Medical personnel initially from hospitals in north-west London will be able to use the hotel for the next two months, though that period could be extended.

The Blues said the initiative was led by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who will cover the cost of the accommodation.

A club statement read: "Chelsea Football Club is joining the medical response to the coronavirus outbreak in London with the news the National Health Service (NHS) has accepted the club's offer to make the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge available for NHS staff.

"The initiative came from club owner Roman Abramovich and, after contact with the NHS was made by Chairman Bruce Buck, it was decided the best way Chelsea can assist the NHS is to provide accommodation for NHS staff. Mr Abramovich will be covering the costs of providing the accommodation.

"Many of the medical staff will be working long shifts and may not be able to travel home or would otherwise have to make long commutes. Local accommodation helps maintain the health and well-being of these crucial personnel at this critical time.

"This will be for a two-month period, and then reconsidered in light of circumstances at the time. NHS staff will be those working in hospitals in the north-west London region, but that may extend to hospitals in other districts.

"The number of rooms utilised will depend on demand but potentially all the rooms in the Millennium Hotel could be given over for this purpose. No staff showing symptoms will use the hotel."

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for COVID-19 last week and the Premier League was subsequently suspended until at least April 3.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been 1,954 confirmed cases in the United Kingdom and 55 deaths as of Wednesday.

Chelsea have reminded the squad of their responsibilities after Mason Mount was pictured playing football in public when he should have been self-isolating amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The entire Chelsea first-team, coaching staff and several backroom members were ordered to self-isolate after it was confirmed on Friday Callum Hudson-Odoi had contracted coronavirus.

Hudson-Odoi, 19, was the first Premier League player to test positive for COVID-19.

But Mount was photographed playing five-a-side football with close friend and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice on Sunday.

Unlike Chelsea, West Ham have not implemented the same isolation procedures.

Stats Perform understands all of Chelsea's first-team players have since been reminded of their responsibilities.

Due to the pandemic, the Premier League has been put on hold until April 3.

However, many believe April is an unrealistic target with COVID-19 infections yet to peak in the United Kingdom.

Italy's Serie A is also postponed until April 3, though Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina acknowledged that looks unlikely with the virus hitting the country hard.

Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive for coronavirus, the Premier League club confirmed.

Hudson-Odoi, 19, became the first Premier League player to test positive for coronavirus and the entire Chelsea squad, coaching staff and several backroom staff will self-isolate.

The men's team building will be closed, but the rest of the club's training facility and Stamford Bridge are operating as normal.

"Callum displayed symptoms similar to a mild cold on Monday morning and has not been at the training ground since then as a precaution," a statement read.

"However, his test came in positive this evening and he will undergo a period of self-isolation.

"Despite testing positive for the virus, Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible."

It added: "We wish Callum a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to the club soon."

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has also tested positive for coronavirus and his side's clash with Brighton and Hove Albion was postponed.

The Premier League is due to hold an emergency meeting on Friday, while Chelsea are scheduled to visit Aston Villa on Saturday.

Callum Hudson-Odoi took a significant step forward in Chelsea's FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest, but Frank Lampard has no doubt there is more to come.

Chelsea beat Championship side Forest 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with Hudson-Odoi opening the scoring before Ross Barkley also found the back of the net.

Lampard suggested in his pre-match news conference that the Blues may have been expecting too much of the 19-year-old winger, who returned from five months out with a ruptured Achilles in September.

Hudson-Odoi has struggled for form since then, but Lampard was impressed by his display against Forest.

"It was a good performance. I was pleased to see him high up the pitch, pleased to see him being aggressive in how he gets at people, which is what he is there for. He gets his goal with a great strike," said Lampard.

"It has been an interesting 12 months for him considering how young he is, when you take that into account. Last year everyone was talking about him for different reasons. He gets a terrible injury, he comes back very early and when he did come back there were issues getting him tip top.

"This was a nice step forward for him. Next time it will be, 'Can you do more?'

"When you are a player of speed and sharpness, when you have an injury like that it can be slightly held back. There is a lot of strength work he needs to do – stuff on the pitch and in the gym now we're getting him towards the point where he has that acceleration.

"As a player he is 19 and he has had that injury so there is a lot more to come from him."

Danny Drinkwater has returned from an unsuccessful loan to Burnley and Lampard said it was "a possibility" he could head straight back out in another temporary switch.

The future of Olivier Giroud, an unused substitute against Forest with Michy Batshuayi deputising for the rested Tammy Abraham, also remains up in the air.

Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Lyon have been linked with Giroud and Lampard did not rule out the France international leaving the club.

"There's no update on Oli and my answer remains the same as it has done recently," added the Chelsea head coach.

"I have spoken with him. If the conditions are that it is something Oli really wants to do and it works for the club and for me and the squad, then it's something that could happen.

"But it's only when all three bases are covered. So, we're still there."

Gareth Southgate vowed to help Jadon Sancho through a difficult period in his Borussia Dortmund career following a lengthy discussion with the young winger.

Sancho was dropped from Dortmund's squad for a Bundesliga fixture last month and suffered the indignity of being withdrawn before half-time of the club's 4-0 Der Klassiker defeat to Bayern Munich.

Fresh transfer rumours are now linking the England international with a move away from Signal Iduna Park amid suggestions he has become unsettled.

"Any young player is going to have ups and downs," Three Lions boss Southgate said.

"Jadon has played a lot of football. A couple of games lately he's gone into physically fatigued. His club have taken the decision to keep playing him because he is a highly important player.

"It was a bit of a mixed bag recently. He was very good against Inter, he had a difficult game against Bayern, but the whole team did.

"I know what has gone on. He came to me at the beginning of the week and we had 25 minutes chatting about everything.

"We have a duty of care, almost, to him, to help him to progress and to develop as much as we can."

Sancho is in his third season in Germany after leaving Manchester City in 2017.

"It's an enormous challenge that Jadon has taken on, to go to another country," Southgate added. "There's the football of course, but he's also adapting to life and the language.

"He's done incredibly well, and it's inevitable that there are going to be games where he's maybe not as effective. 

"But he still has a high level of assists, a high level of goals. He's a great talent and part of our job is to help him to succeed."

With Raheem Sterling not considered for selection, Sancho could start Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is another option.

The 19-year-old has impressed since returning from an Achilles injury, having spurned interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern in favour of signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

"I wasn't saying I was definitely going to sign or I wasn't going to sign," Hudson-Odoi told reporters. "It was just because of times last year where I felt a bit of frustration or times when I wanted to play more because I love the game.

"I made the right decision to stay at Chelsea."

James Maddison and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have won recalls to the England squad for this month's Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Leicester City playmaker Maddison was called up by Gareth Southgate in October but withdrew from the squad due to illness, and there was then some controversy when he was pictured in a casino during England's 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic in Prague.

However, his fine club form has seen him handed another chance to make his senior Three Lions debut, while Oxlade-Chamberlain also returns after impressing for Liverpool in recent weeks.

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has also been brought back into the senior fold, having featured for the Under-21s last month.

There is no room for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, while Tottenham's Dele Alli and Manchester United's Jesse Lingard have failed to win back their places.

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount is included despite concern about an ankle injury, while Manchester City centre-back John Stones also returns.

England face Montenegro at Wembley on November 14 needing only a point to secure their place at the Euro 2020 finals.

Southgate's men then take on Kosovo in their final Group A match on November 17.

 

Callum Hudson-Odoi has supported the idea of walking off the pitch as a team in response to racist abuse at football grounds.

The Chelsea winger suffered abuse on his first start for the Three Lions in Montenegro last May which he described as "evil" at the time.

The 18-year-old is hoping to force his way into the Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad as he makes his way back from an Achilles injury suffered last season.

Hudson-Odoi scored twice in a 5-1 win for England’s under-21s against Austria on Tuesday and said he was proud of the solidarity shown by the senior players and coaching staff when questioned about the unsavoury scenes in Bulgaria.

"It’s disgusting to hear or see players getting discriminated against," he told reporters.

"It’s not right. I say to myself whenever that happens you have to stick together as a team, which the boys did.

"I am really proud to see the boys stick together in those situations where they say they would walk off the pitch. It is right because no player should be treated differently.

"We’re all equal and it’s an equal game, so we have got to stay strong. Hopefully everything will be sorted out properly by UEFA."

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