Premier League increases testing as Covid-19 devastates schedule

By Piyush

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Premier League players and staff must take a lateral flow test every time they set foot in their club’s training ground as part of strict new measures to restraint the danger of the coronavirus.

The concords were agreed following Manchester United’s Premier League game at Brentford on Tuesday and Tottenham’s tour to Brighton last Sunday were postponed because of Covid-19 breakouts.

Manchester Utd, Tottenham, Brighton, Leicester, Norwich and Aston Villa have all been affected by the virus over the last week as the new Omicron strain frightens to cause devastation in England’s top-flight.

Twice a week PCR testing is also reported to have been initiated after a clubs’ shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday.

The augmented testing will align alongside the other recently initiated exigency measures, including face coverings, limiting time in the treatment room and observing social distancing.

The Omicron variant has become the ruling strain of the coronavirus in Britain and the Premier League has not been resistant to it.

Premier League officials declared on Monday there had been 42 positive Covid cases among PL players and staff last week — the most written down by the top-flight in any week period since testing began during the 2019-20 season.

The most positive tests returned in a week this season was 16 from 16th August to 22nd August.

The league’s clubs debated the Government’s Covid Plan B measures at their meeting on Tuesday, which are ready to come into implication in England on Wednesday.

The measures require spectators to provide proof of full vaccination or a recent negative lateral flow test in order to step into the venues holding more than 10,000 people.

Nigel Huddleston, Sports Minister stated on Tuesday the measures were “proportionate” to the situation the country is facing at this moment, but denied to rule out even stricter measures such as compelling clubs to reduce capacity at matches.

“What we are doing is focusing on the situation at the moment and that we’re carefully monitoring the situation,” he stated.

“The Prime Minister said yesterday that we will have to deal with this Covid situation as the facts tell us, so I can’t rule anything out. But we need to deal with the situation as it is at the moment and we believe the measures brought in place now are proportionate.”

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