Chelsea star Pedro has opened up on living apart from his children during the coronavirus shutdown.
Pedro’s children are in his native Spain and the 32-year-old has been unable to travel back to his home country to link up with his family.
The Spain winger has remained in the UK, while his children are getting to grips with lockdown life in Europe.
“It’s hard not to be seeing your children, your parents, your siblings, not having them close by at a complicated, difficult time for us all,” Pedro told the Chelsea website.
“We are in permanent contact on the phone, keeping in touch about what we are up to in isolation and trying to be as close as possible.
“Of course, we would have liked to be there but for safety reasons that isn’t possible so for now we are going to stay where we are and try to get through it as best we can.”
The Premier League remains suspended until April 30, but that date could be extended as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the UK.
Chelsea’s players are following club programmes to train at home while England deals with the government’s social distancing measures.
Pedro is helping the community effort in Spain through his own foundation, while the Blues’ senior squad has made a sizeable donation to the Chelsea Foundation to help those in need in west London.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has turned Stamford Bridge’s Millennium Hotel over for NHS staff, and is footing the bill.
While considering the different current social situations between England and Spain, Pedro also explained how he is keeping in regular contact with team-mates.
“It’s a very delicate, complex situation; a critical situation because there have been lots of cases of infection, especially in Madrid and Catalonia, which are probably the most affected regions, but now it has spread across the country,” Pedro added.
“They are in total lock down in their houses so they are living through a crisis situation. It’s also an economic crisis, of course, but at the moment that is secondary. The most important thing is that people stay at home with their family.
“I’m talking to people back in Spain on the phone, to my children, parents and siblings, and also with friends, to hear what the situation is like.
“I’m also making a lot of calls with the foundation to see how we can help the biggest possible number of people with what they are going through.
“I’ve been on the phone to Kepa (Arrizabalaga) and Marcos Alonso. I’ve also called Jordi Alba from Barcelona. I’m in touch with other players too, to see how they are handling the situation, with players who are alone, which can sometimes be difficult.
“These are tough times and we are in constant contact. I’m also speaking a lot to Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta) and we’re always following the news coming out from the club, the training that we have to do at home.
Urging fans and the public to follow government guidelines for social distancing, Pedro added: “We know we are going through a very difficult situation, in which lots of people have even lost relatives. It’s a delicate and difficult time for everyone. I hope we can see each other soon at Stamford Bridge and go back to playing and doing what we like best.
“Please keep calm, stay at home, stay isolated, because this virus can really be quite dangerous and hard to control. I hope we’ll all be able to see each other soon, doing what we love, playing football, and that you will all be able to enjoy this wonderful sport as soon as possible. Simply keep calm and hopefully we can see each other soon doing what we like best.”