The pair have been made to isolate for ten days after being deemed close contacts of Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour, who has tested positive for Covid, after the trio interacted in the tunnel following Friday night’s 0-0 draw at Wembley.
Southgate admitted he “doesn’t get” why he is without two of his players for tonight’s Euro 2020 meeting with Czech Republic, while Steve Clarke still has a full squad – bar Gilmour – to choose from for his side’s must-win game against Croatia in Group D.
“They [Mason Mount & Ben Chilwell] are hugely disappointed to miss the games,” Southgate told ITV. “We just have to get on with it. It is a bizarre situation, they have spent 120 seconds too long in a fairly open space. It is full of contradictions for me but we will get on with it.
“Frankly, I don’t understand it at all because there are teams travelling around by planes, coach and by bus in enclosed spaces for hours and our two boys have been pinged. I really don’t get it.
“I’ve no issue for Steve and for Scotland, I don’t want them to have any more issues than we’ve had, it just seems a bizarre situation.”
Southgate also said that his decision to leave Phil Foden out of the Czech Republic clash was influenced by the situation, with the Manchester City star one yellow card away from a suspension which could have left Southgate with only 23 players to choose from for England’s last-16 fixture.
Depending on where they finish in Group D, that tie could come before Chilwell and Mount are due to leave isolation.
However, even if the Three Lions top Group D and play their last-16 tie next Tuesday, the day after the pair are due to rejoin the group, Southgate has warned they may not be available. having been forced to train alone.
“Even that is going to be very difficult given the training schedule and the need to isolate,” he added.