Elite sport to continue in England despite new nationwide lockdown

Elite professional sport will be allowed to continue in England, despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a new nationwide lockdown.

As of Tuesday, everybody in the country will be required to stay at home after a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, mainly caused by a new variant of the virus.

The latest lockdown - the third since the coronavirus pandemic began - is expected to last for at least six weeks, at which point the government hope to have administered the first dose of a vaccine to those most vulnerable.

Premier League was halted for three months during 2020 | Sam Bagnall - AMA/Getty Images

The shutdown had led to fears that professional sport would be postponed like it was last year, but that will not be the case. Premier League, EFL, SPFL and WSL action will continue as normal, with the testing protocols that have been in place for the duration of the 2020/21 season continuing.

With very little to look forward to over the coming months, the respite of being able to enjoy and watch professional sport will be appreciated by many. There are, however, obvious concerns in the game amid a significant rise in cases among clubs across the country.

Recently, Newcastle were forced to close their training ground amid an outbreak of COVID-19 at the club, while Championship duo Sheffield Wednesday and Derby have followed suit over the past few days after a spate of positive tests.

Fixtures have also been postponed in the Premier League recently, with Fulham's planned games against Tottenham and Burnley both called off at short notice. Manchester City, meanwhile, have felt the pinch with a number of players testing positive, including Kyle Walker, Gabriel Jesus and Ederson. They also had a fixture against Everton postponed.

Manchester City's Kyle Walker recently tested positive for COVID | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

There have also been unavoidable, and frankly ridiculous, breaches of restrictions from a number of top flight players, many of whom were pictured flouting the government's previous set of rules over the Christmas and New Year period.

The same mistakes are unlikely to be made again, as the country braces itself to be shut away for the foreseeable future.

Source : 90min