The Premier League has announced a list of 36 new COVID-19 cases which includes players and staff from top-flight clubs.
Two rounds of testing were conducted between January 4 and January 10, with the results being declared on Monday. The individuals who have tested positive will now sel-isolate for 10 days.
The number has reduced slightly as compared to the 40 coronavirus cases reported between December 28 and January 3.
The authorities have introduced a two-round testing programme following the spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the UK. Enhanced protocols have also been put into place.
The Premier League also announced a change in the upcoming fixtures owing to the COVID-19 situation at Villa Park.
Tottenham Hotspur were supposed to play against Aston Villa on Wednesday but their opponents have asked for a change in date as most of their players have either tested positive or have been placed in isolation.
So, Spurs will now host Fulham on the same day. The two sides were previously supposed to meet on December 30 but that game had to be postponed following an increase in the number of cases at Craven Cottage.
“With the health of players and staff the priority, the league continues to work with Aston Villa on measures to ensure their league season resumes safely and at the earliest opportunity,” a statement from the Premier League read on Monday.
“The Premier League wishes those with Covid-19 a full and swift recovery and will rearrange Aston Villa’s game against Tottenham Hotspur as soon as possible.”
Although coronavirus cases have been soaring in the UK, the government wants to use football to set an example for the people. That’s why the Premier League has made the protocols far more stringent.
On top of the twice-weekly testing programme, the Premier League has directed substitutes to wear masks while being on the bench, asked players or even support staff not to hug, hand-shake or swap shirts. Spot checks are also being done to ensure social distancing in dressing rooms, the number of people allowed at training grounds have been limited as well, and the clubs have been asked to provide the league with detailed travel plans too.