The Premier League announced new Covid protocol on Tuesday, requiring daily lateral flow Covid testing of players and team staff for all clubs. This comes after a rapid increase in Covid cases among Premier League players and staff over the weekend, which has already forced the postponement of two matches, Tottenham vs. Brighton and Manchester United vs. Brentford.
Premier League clubs have agreed to introduce daily Covid testing for players and training-ground staff as they fight to prevent the postponement of further games and, in the worst-case scenario, a break to the competition.— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) December 14, 2021
By @DaveHytner https://t.co/dI7jx4G9QU
Manchester United’s cases have not been made public, but the club confirmed on Monday that Carrington facilities had to be shut down for 24 hours following the positive tests, interrupting training and planning ahead of the Brentford match. As of now the match against Brighton is still set for Saturday, but it is unknown who in the United squad will even be able to train this week let alone play at the weekend. It was confirmed however that Victor Lindelof’s withdrawal against Norwich City due to breathing trouble and apparent chest pain was not Covid related, but is still a worrying ailment that the club will continue to monitor.
With 42 positive tests the past few days have been the most alarming increase in Covid cases since the Premier League chose to return behind closed doors. The resurgence of the pandemic and cases of the new variant could once again force football into empty stadiums in England as it has started to do across Europe, and new government measures taken in response to the virus could mean more restrictions for match goers.