Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the Premier League will continue despite England’s new lockdown beginning Thursday.
Johnson laid out plans on Saturday evening to lock the country down in broadly similar terms to the UK-wide restrictions that were put in place in March to contain Covid-19. The initial lockdown in March slowed the spread of the virus to the point that most businesses were allowed to resume with a degree of normality, and football, too, returned behind closed doors after having been paused for more than three months.
Unfortunately the virus has since reared its ugly head again and picked up pace, and partial, regional restrictions had been reimposed all over the UK, before Johnson officially announced England will return to a full state of lockdown until at least 2 December.
Initial concerns had arisen that the Premier League would be forced to fall in line with the rest of the country, but the PM confirmed on Saturday that England’s top division will continue throughout.
“I can say yes to the Premier League, I think, with authority,” he said.
Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, followed up with a substantiation of Johnson’s words in a series of tweets.
“The changes mean people should work from home where possible,” he wrote.
“But where this is not possible, travel to a place of work will be permitted. This includes (but not exhaustive) elite sport played behind closed doors, film and tv production, telecoms workers.”
Although there have been a number of high-profile cases within the sport, the Premier League has admittedly gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of players and staff to ensure that the contagion within the league is broadly isolated from the public. Apart from the the continued observance of SOPs, everyone entering a stadium must provide proof of a negative test, while those who test positive must follow government guidance and self-isolate for 14 days.