Premier League side Newcastle United have been told to stay away from their training ground to protect the welfare of players and staff following an outbreak of coronavirus amongst the squad.
Manager Steve Bruce confirmed last Friday, ahead of their fixture with Crystal Palace, that two players had tested positive for COVID-19, with a further two confirmed over the weekend, resulting in the club having to close its training ground both yesterday (November 30) and today (December 1).
Reportedly, the club are assessing the situation on a day-to-day basis and another round of testing is due to take place on Wednesday, calling into question whether their fixture with Aston Villa on Friday night can go ahead as planned. Newcastle United believe they can appeal to the Premier League to postpone the fixture, according to the Chronicle Live.
Speaking after the match against Crystal Palace, Bruce said: “It is a concern and difficult to manage. We are trying our utmost to make sure we try and stay as safe as we can.
“Of course my concern is not just the welfare of the players, which is vitally important, but my members of staff too. We will do our best, but it is difficult at the moment.”
As part of their player welfare considerations, the Premier League have tested players and club staff once a week since the beginning of the 2020/21 season. If a player/member of staff test positive, only they and their household will have to self-isolate but not those who have been in close contact with them.
As part of Project Restart, it was reported that players and staff were tested twice per week, but this was reduced at the beginning of the new season as infection rates across the country reduced.
Yesterday, following a round of tests between Monday 23 November and Sunday 29 November, of the 1,381 players and staff who were tested, there were 10 new positive results.
Author: Jake Wilkin