The Premier League will step up testing efforts at clubs located in Tier 4 areas in England, as a new strain of coronavirus is having a huge impact in large parts of the country as the UK government believe it is up to 70 percent more transmissible.
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Over the summer all staff at Premier League clubs were tested twice per week, but from the start of the 2020-21 season testing was reduced to once per week.
The league previously stated that it would constantly review rules around testing and would adjust when appropriate. Initially the six teams located in Tier 4 will go back to being tested twice per week, but the other 14 PL teams located in other tiers will also be tested twice per week from January.
Six Premier League teams in London are currently located in Tier 4 areas (Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham) and our partners at Sky Sports in the UK have more details on exactly how the league will help them with increased testing first, and the rest of the league will follow.
“Players and staff at top flight clubs have been tested on a weekly basis since the start of the 2020-21 season but testing at clubs in Tier 4 areas will now revert to the level used during ‘Project Restart’ in the summer. The increased testing will be widened out to clubs in lower-tier areas from next month.”
In the latest round of COVID-19 tests in the Premier League there were seven positive cases from 1,569 tests of players and club staff.
One Premier League game has been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak so far in the 2020-21 season, as Aston Villa v Newcastle United was postponed in early December. Newcastle are the only club who have been forced to shut down their training center due to an outbreak, as this week it was revealed that some of their players are suffering from the long-term effects of having the virus.
Currently four of the 20 teams in the Premier League are located in Tier 2 areas as Brighton, Everton, Liverpool and Southampton can have a maximum of 2,000 fans at home games. All other clubs are located in either Tier 3 or Tier 4 areas, the highest level of restrictions, and no fans are permitted to attend.