The Premier League has reverted to emergency measures after a record number of players and staff tested positive for coronavirus in the past week.
The league recorded its highest figures for a seven-day period after 42 positive tests were returned, surpassing the 40 from January.
The results come from a total of 3,805 tests carried out in the week of December 6-12.
An increase in cases is already beginning to take its toll on the fixture list, with Sunday’s game between Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham postponed after an outbreak in the Spurs camp.
Manchester United’s game at Brentford, scheduled for Tuesday, is in doubt after the Red Devils closed their training complex following an outbreak.
The Premier League will step up its testing programme after new measures were introduced in England amid the threat posed by the Omicron variant.
“The safety of everybody is a priority and the Premier League is taking all precautionary steps in light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the country,” a statement read.
“The League has reverted to its Emergency Measures, and will increase the frequency of both Lateral Flow and PCR COVID-19 testing of players and staff.
“The League can today confirm that between Monday 6 December and Sunday 12 December 3,805 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, there were 42 new positive cases.
“The Premier League’s COVID-19 Emergency Measures, which are applicable to all clubs, include protocols such as wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time. These are in addition to the more frequent testing.”
Although the details of players and staff affected are not divulged, Tottenham, Manchester United, Leicester City, Brighton and Aston Villa have all revealed they have cases.
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