The Premier League remains on course to remove all of its Covid-19 emergency measures by the end of February after prime minister Boris Johnson announced all restrictions will be lifted in England from Thursday.
The PM announced the legal requirement for people who test positive for coronavirus to self-isolate will be removed from Thursday and free symptomatic and asymptomatic testing will end in England from April 1.
Johnson confirmed the move as he unveiled his government’s plan for “living with Covid”, with the changes subject to approval by parliament.
The Premier League is now revising its emergency measures and a review is under way that could see only players who have symptoms being tested.
The decision to phase out the measures was taken at a Premier League shareholders’ meeting 11 days ago.
Earlier on Monday, the Premier League announced nine new positive results from last week’s testing.
A league statement read: “The Premier League can today confirm that between Monday 14 February and Sunday 20 February, 2,958 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, there were nine new positive tests.”
Lateral flow testing for players and key club staff reverted to twice weekly, bringing the number of tests conducted down from over 6,000 per week recently – excluding the league’s winter break – to less than half that number.
The nine new cases is the first single-figure tally of positives since the week beginning November 22.
The English Football League is also discussing the government’s announcement with their medical advisers and stakeholders.
Discussions are about the approach for EFL competitions going forward. There has only been a requirement for symptomatic testing in the EFL since January 22.
Chelsea and Liverpool will be following Premier League testing protocols for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final, live on Sky Sports.
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What are other sports doing?
The ECB has yet to decide whether it will continue Covid-19 testing in domestic cricket next season.
The international series will be determined by the host nation – so there will be testing in West Indies for England’s upcoming tour.
In England, routine weekly testing on all players and staff will pause and testing will focus on those players and management who have symptoms of Covid-19.
Testing in international rugby will depend on the host nation or tournament organiser.
Super League will be maintaining their current Covid-19 guidelines and testing programme.