Premier League announce new COVID-19 measures after record number of cases

The Premier League has announced new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, which include showing a complete COVID status declaration prior to matchday for fans attending matches, and to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

The decision comes after the Premier League announced the highest weekly number of COVID-19 cases since May last year, with 42 players testing positive.

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As part of the new measures, there will also be COVID-19 status checks at every Premier League ground and fans have been urged not to travel if they are displaying any symptoms.

The declaration to be completed prior to matchday requires fans over the age of 15 to confirm whether they have a valid NHS pass or a negative test from the previous 48 hours.

Fans must also wear a face covering while in indoor areas at stadiums and are encouraged to keep them on while in their seats but this is not mandatory.

"We are doing all we can to keep fans safe and grounds open at full capacity. The safety of everyone remains our priority and since the start of the season we have been working closely with our clubs, Government and local public health authorities to prepare fans and stadium operations for the introduction of COVID certification," Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said in a statement.

"It is really important fans take the time to understand what is required of them when attending Premier League stadiums, which is why we are asking fans to declare their COVID status ahead of a matchday.

"We want everyone to enjoy matches in safe environments and we and our clubs will continue to urge fans to do all they can and follow public health guidance."

The rise in COVID-19 cases has started to affect match scheduling with Manchester United's match against Brentford, due to be played on Tuesday, postponed after United were forced to shut their training base due to a number of positive tests among staff and players.

Tottenham Hotspur's clash with Brighton & Hove Albion last week was postponed by the Premier League following a severe coronavirus outbreak among Antonio Conte's squad.