The Premier League announced on Friday a slight decline in the number of positive Covid-19 cases during its two waves of weekly tests, with 36 players or staff infected against 40 a week earlier.
The number of samples collected was greater: 2593 against 2295, and the rate of positive cases therefore fell from 1.74% to 1.38%.
In detail, the first wave of tests, on January 4 and 7, revealed 27 positive cases out of 1538 samples (1.75%), while the second, on January 8 and 10, revealed 9 out of 1055 contaminations. tests (0.85%).
The Premier League schedule and the conduct of the 32nd finals of the FA Cup last weekend were affected by the strong rebound in the number of Covid cases in England in recent weeks, linked in particular to the discovery of a variant of the virus that is much more contagious, and which has caused widespread containment of the country.
Earlier, the Matchday 18 Aston Villa -–Tottenham match, scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed after 9 players and 5 Birmingham staff tested positive.
The Villans had also been forced to line up a reserve team against Liverpool in the Cup last Friday for a final 4-1 defeat.
Before that, several league matches had also been postponed, with London club Fulham and Manchester City among the clubs most affected.
The Premier League, which has toughened its anti-Covid protocols in agreement with the 20 clubs that make it up, had warned that it was considering being tougher on players who did not strictly follow its rules.
But voices are starting to rise to question the advisability of continuing to play under these conditions.
“Financially, it’s a good thing to continue playing but, for me, morally, it’s probably a bad thing”, said Friday Steve Bruce, the coach of Newcastle, the first team to ask for a postponement of one of his league matches and having to close his training center in early December due to numerous cases in his workforce.