With more and more matches in the Premier League and various divisions of the English football pyramid, it was only a matter of time before the Covid protocols that were introduced at the height of the previous spike were re-employed.
According to The Telegraph, the football authorities have now taken the decision to impose a policy of no handshakes with opposition teams and socially distanced celebrations.
Telegraph journalist, Henry Winter, has tweeted that one club believes that the recent spike in the Omicron variant amongst football clubs could be down to player Christmas parties, whilst a more general reticence to be vaccinated could be a key factor.
Many reasons behind football’s current Covid outbreak. Vax issues in some dressing-rooms, general Omicron spike etc. One club also believes timing of outbreak is related to players’ Christmas parties. Not as prevalent or wild as in the past but some still taking place.
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) December 18, 2021
English Football League chairman, Rick Parry, isn’t yet sure if a ‘circuit breaker’ is required to stem the flow, though it would appear to be something that requires urgent discussion given the close proximity of the festive football calendar.
Rick Parry says it’s “too early to tell” if the @EFL requires a fixture “circuit-breaker” in response to rising Covid cases.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) December 18, 2021
On Saturday morning, another fixture fell foul of the current outbreak as Aston Villa announced their game with Burnley was off.
Aston Villa can confirm that today’s Premier League fixture with Burnley has been postponed due to an increased amount of positive Covid-19 test results within our playing squad.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) December 18, 2021
It seems incredulous that, with so much uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, games are still a priority.
If we look back to the first lockdown, as soon as there was a realisation of how serious things were, everything was stopped.
We are well passed that point already, and yet there doesn’t appear to be anyone ready to make a decision that could save the season.
Is it that popularity now takes precedence over common sense?