Ryan Christie wasn’t ignoring his protocol duties. He was simply playing Call of Duty.
He might have been a soldier in the video game at the Scotland squad HQ.
But when it came to real life Christie would soon become the prisoner in his own house.
It was supposed to be a period of relaxation for the Celtic star and international pals Kieran Tierney and Stuart Armstrong as they enjoyed down time between training sessions.
In the end a short spell of fun on the consoles became two weeks of frustration on the couch.
Armstrong’s positive test for Covid-19 left his two team-mates in the line of fire.
Christie says he, Tierney and Armstrong didn’t even face each other as they sat the necessary social distance apart as set out by the Scotland team medical staff.
But with Armstrong’s test results in the system, Christie and Tierney were told by NHS Lothian they were close contacts.
The Parkhead ace was stunned. Having taken every precaution and protocol since the resumption of the game he was still deemed as at fault.
Christie couldn’t believe he’d been tagged.
He said: “The crazy thing was we were spaced out. Even unintentionally we were socially distanced.
“It wasn’t like we were on the one TV or PlayStation. This is going to sound geeky but one of us was that side of the room, a TV that side, one of us was in the middle facing that way and the other facing a different way.
“We’ve all got headsets and weren’t even looking at each other to speak.
“The Scotland guys were measuring the distance between the seats and it was 3.8 metres or something. Plus through previous camps we were told by the international doctor this was okay to do that so it was very frustrating to still have been punished for it.
“I was following every single protocol. We’ve done it since June/July at club level so it’s not as if we go away for internationals and throw all that in the bin.
“It’s frustrating it still comes back to bite you.”
Christie had to suffer in isolation and his mental state wasn’t helped by the fact Tierney was allowed to return early for Arsenal due to more flexible English rules while he sat out last weekend’s Old Firm game.
He said: “I had to get my head round sitting on my couch watching games that you feel you should have been part of.
“If I had missed one more my head would have just about fallen off. It was a bit different from the giant lockdown in the first half of the year as I wasn’t even allowed to leave the house and was just left staring at the four walls.
“I had stuff delivered to keep up with my fitness and you go through good spells and bad spells. As soon as football came on TV I was thinking, ‘I should be part of this’.
“That was probably the hardest bit but so many people were in contact with brilliant messages.
“It was frustrating to be in the same boat as Kieran who then went down and played for Arsenal.
“There was a more open communication between the governing bodies down there and in terms of the chief medical officer and the Premier League.
“They were in talks with the doctor at Arsenal and once everybody was okay that KT had tested negative so many times everybody was happy for him to play.
“It was just common sense down there. It was going to be very hard to get through maybe a whole year without anybody testing positive. But that is why everything is in place – so that if one person does it doesn’t take down three or four bodies. But as I say, even though I’ve been following the protocols it seems to have hindered me and KT.”
Thankfully for Christie the return against AC Milan went well for him and now he’s “buzzing” for Sunday’s crunch at Aberdeen.
He said: “From the last international to the next the run of games is amazing. There aren’t any easy games, but it’s all games you want to be part of.
“I was gutted to miss the game last weekend but I’m looking forward to being involved in all of them now, especially at Aberdeen.
“I’ve got a bit of history there and we want to get back to winning ways. When you’re sat on the couch just watching games it motivates you to want to come back and help the team.
“I think it opened my eyes to it in terms of personally not doing anything wrong and still being liable or being punished to miss out on
“You now you just need to be very, very wary.
“Even if you are following the guidelines go that extra step further so nobody can point the finger.”