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‘No current plans’ to halt Premier League amid growing COVID-19 concerns

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There are currently “no plans” to force elite sport into another shutdown in England despite increasing concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus.

That is according to BBC senior Sports reporter Laura Scott, who looked to address growing rumours and concerns of a second shutdown 10 months on from the first.

With a new coronavirus variant spreading around the UK to see over 60,000 cases recorded daily, another lockdown was sanctioned and tougher restrictions remain a real possibility.

Elite sport was allowed to continue as normal but with no fans able to access any event, with Liverpool and Everton the last in the Premier League to have the luxury before a change in the tier status.

The Premier League has strict testing regimes in place and a long list of protocols to follow in training and on game days, although the top-flight and EFL clubs have seen a significant rise in positive tests in recent weeks.

A league-high of 40 positive tests between December 28 and January 3 were recorded in the division.

Some of those have come as a result of flouting the lockdown rules which has led to postponed games and the need for greater punishment, with the FA set to once again remind “everyone of their responsibilities.”

A two-week circuit-breaker had been mooted at the end of 2020 before being taken off the table, with the Premier League insisting clubs reinforce existing protocols to minimise the risk of infection.

It is a situation which is subject to change no doubt, as the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 means the continuation of the Premier League and other elite sports will be constantly reviewed by the government and the league’s key decision makers.

The vaccine administered around England is a light at the end of the tunnel but professional sports stars will not jump the queue and tight protocols will remain key to avoiding another costly shutdown.

Jurgen Klopp spoke of his belief in the safety of the Premier League bubble at the start of the year, saying: “We still try everything to keep the boys as safe as possible.

“I think the competition can go on, and I think it’s important as well, because people want to watch it.”

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