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Premier League clubs should prepare for an increase in postponements over the Christmas period as a result of the new strain of Covid-19, according to health expert Dr. John Ashton.
London was moved back to Level 4 of the government lockdown restrictions after an outbreak of the new strain was discovered. It caused panic in other parts of the UK, with Scotland announcing a travel ban to other UK nations, while France and other EU countries temporarily closed their airports to the UK.
It also led to a reduction in plans across the UK to ease restrictions around Christmas.
The news came after Boris Johnson had moved several areas in England from Level 2 to Level 3, leading to six Premier League clubs, who were allowed up to 2,000 fans in games, shutting down their stadiums entirely. . As it stands, only Brighton, Everton, Liverpool and Southampton can receive a following.
Newcastle had its trip to Aston Villa postponed earlier this month after a Covid outbreak at its training ground, but according to a report from The Telegraph, we may only be seeing the beginning of the impact of the virus on football.
They quote Ashton, the former head of public health for the North West of England, as saying there are likely to be more postponements in the Premier League and other high-level sporting competitions during the holiday period.
Paraphrasing a famous Christmas song, Ashton continued: “If you watched the late night clips on social media of the crowds at stations leaving London, this is Chris Rea taking the virus home for Christmas.”
The main cause for concern is people fleeing London after it was the first region in England to move to Level 4. Trains leaving the capital were full on Saturday night after the new restrictions were announced.