England’s back under lockdown for the third time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but unlike last March, the Premier League (and other “elite sports”) have been allowed to carry on playing. No 100-day break this time, or even a two-week “circuit-breaker” ... at least for now.
And that’s despite the league setting a new record for cases in the last round of testing conducted in 2020 (December 28-31), when no fewer than 28 positives were found from 1311 tests administered. The previous record was 18, from the week before (December 21-27). And that looks even worse if we consider that we have gone back to twice-weekly testing now, and the number of cases from December 28 (Monday) to January 3 (Sunday) was a combined 40 from 2295 tests.
The rate of positives remains low, 1.74%, but we’ve more than doubled the number of cases.
All those players and staff are now in self-isolation for at least 10 days, which has also resulted in three fixtures getting postponed.
For now however, the league remains confident that we can keep carrying on. If the numbers keep rising however — in spite of the quarantines and the lockdown in general — that confidence will surely erode very quickly, and we’ll once again have to consider a stoppage.
With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the League continues to have confidence in its COVID-19 protocols, fully backed by the Government, to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled.