Celtic were forced to field a depleted side against Hibs and Livingston in subsequent matches

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The reason for 16 Celtic staff having to self-isolate has been confirmed.

Defender Christopher Jullien, who was already ruled out for three to four months through injury prior to the club’s trip to Dubai, tested positive upon their return to Glasgow.

13 players, as well as three staff members including manager Neil Lennon and his assistant John Kennedy, were required to self-isolate as a result.

With coach Gavin Strachan in the dugout, Celtic were forced to field a depleted side in the matches against Hibs and Livingston at Celtic Park.

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The champions were held to 1-1 and 0-0 draws respectively, leaving them 21 points behind Rangers in the title race.

Record Sport have now revealed that the high number of staff having to self-isolate was a result of Jullien changing his seat on bus trips.

Their report says that the club’s manifests showed Jullien sat in at least two different seats during six separate journeys on the team coach.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

An investigation carried out by track and trace experts as a result of Jullien’s positive test concluded that 16 employees would have to self-isolate as a result of the seating arrangements.

It was confirmed on Monday that a second player who had been deemed a ‘close contact’ had tested positive. According to the report, government sources point to this as vindication for the track and trace response.

They also say it helped the club avoid a far more serious outbreak and prevented them potentially infecting anyone else during the matches against Hibs and Livingston.

During his press conference on Monday, Lennon said: “We’ve come back and been absolutely decimated by these rules.

“I’m not convinced they’re a public health issue, it seems political in my opinion. Nobody has got Covid.

“Our protocols were perfect. We’ve been decimated the last two games.”

In other news, 'Served with distinction': Celtic confirm Neil Lennon resignation with interim manager named