The Premier League has revealed 40 new Covid cases in the latest round of testing – more than double the previous week and the highest figure yet recorded.
The latest test results come amid an alarming rise in coronavirus cases in the UK, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposing a new lockdown to keep the mutant Covid strain at bay, which is knopwn to spread more easily.
Last week’s Premier League testing saw 18 positive results come back – which was the previous highest weekly figure since Project Restart.
The Premier League have revealed their latest set of results following their Covid testing
PREMIER LEAGUE COVID-19 TEST RESULTS FOR 2020-21 SEASON
Round 1: Aug 31-Sep 6 – 1,605 tested, with three testing positive.
Round 2: Sep 7-13 – 2,131 tested, with four testing positive.
Round 3: Sep 14-20- 1,574 tested, with three testing positive.
Round 4: Sep 21-27 – 1,595 tested, with 10 testing positive.
Round 5: Sep 28-Oct 4 – 1,587 tested, with nine testing positive.
Round 6: Oct 5-11 – 1,128 tested, with five testing positive.
Round 7: Oct 12-18 – 1,575 tested, with eight testing positive.
Round 8: Oct 19-25 – 1,609 tested, with two testing positive.
Round 9: Oct 26-Nov 1 – 1,446 tested, with four testing positive.
Round 10: Nov 2-8 – 1,646 tested, with four testing positive.
Round 11: Nov 9-15 – 1,207 tested, with 16 testing positive.
Round 12: Nov 16-22 – 1,530 tested, with eight testing positive.
Round 13: Nov 23-29 – 1,381 tested, with 10 testing positive.
Round 14: Nov 30-Dec 6 – 1,483 tested, with 14 testing positive.
Round 15: Dec 7-13 – 1,549 tested, with six testing positive.
Round 16: Dec 14-20 – 1,569 tested, with seven testing positive
Round 17: Dec 21-27 – 1,479 tested, with 18 testing positive
Round 18: Dec 28-Jan 3 – 2,295 tested, with 40 testing positive
The Premier League has now moved to testing players twice per week. Between Monday December 28 and Thursday December 31, 1,311 players and club staff were tested for Covid. Of these, there were 28 new positive tests.
Between Friday January 1 and Sunday January 3, 984 people were tested and of these, there were 12 new cases.
The Premier League said in a statement: ‘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. Players or club staff who have tested positive will self-isolate for a period of 10 days.’
During the most recent testing period, three fixtures were postponed following an increased number of positive tests at two clubs.
Fulham’s matches against Burnley and Tottenham were called off due to an outbreak in their camp, while Manchester City’s trip to Everton was also postponed as the virus spread among Pep Guardiola’s squad during the Christmas break.
There has also been widespread criticism and concern after Premier League players at five clubs flouted coronavirus restriction rules.
Players at Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham, Manchester City and West Ham attended parties over the Christmas and New Year period.
Tottenham trio Erik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso and Sergio Reguilon were pictured attending a Christmas party alongside West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini as Covid cases continue to soar.
Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic was present at a New Year’s Eve gathering alongside Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Three Spurs stars and a West Ham player (identified above) broke rules to party despite Covid-19 restrictions being in place over the Christmas period
Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic (left) was seen breaking Covid rules at a New Year’s Eve party with Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (right)
And finally, Manchester City left back Benjamin Mendy was also caught breaking Government regulations by hosting a New Year’s Eve party.
Mendy broke Government restrictions by inviting two friends and a chef to his £5million mansion to see in 2021.
Meanwhile despite the third national lockdown being announced on Monday night, professional sport will continue as planned in the UK.
The new lockdown is in some ways more brutal than last March, as the Government is desperately bidding to keep the mutant coronavirus at bay while vaccines are rolled out.
It will see primary and secondary schools shut until at least February half-term.
University students are being told to stay at home and study remotely, while exams will not go ahead as planned. Nurseries can stay open.
Non-essential retail, all hospitality, gyms and swimming pools are being ordered to close across the country.
Manchester City left back Benjamin Mendy hosted a New Year’s Eve party at his mansion
Cafes, bars and restaurants will be allowed to serve takeaway food – but in a tightening from the draconian measures last spring, they will not be allowed to serve any alcohol. Vulnerable people are being told to shield where possible. Communal worship can continue with social distancing in place.
The public will once again only be allowed to leave home for one of five reasons: to go to work if essential, shop for necessities, exercise – allowed with one other person from another household, care for someone, or to seek medical help.
The extraordinary third national squeeze will come into effect as soon as regulations are made on Tuesday, but Johnson urged the public to adopt the new rules now.
The announcement was made after 58,784 new cases were recorded on Monday – a 42 per cent rise on last Monday.
Department of Health chiefs also posted 407 more deaths, up 14 per cent on the figure recorded last week