The Premier League has announced 42 new coronavirus cases among club players and staff, the highest weekly figure recorded since testing figures began being circulated in May last year.
Only a dozen cases were reported last week, but Covid-19 outbreaks have hit several top-flight clubs in the last few days, including Manchester United, whose game at Brentford on Tuesday night has been postponed.
“Between Monday 6 December and Sunday 12 December, 3,805 players and club staff were tested for Covid-19. Of these, there were 42 new positive cases,” said the Premier League in a statement.
Clubs have already been instructed by the league to reinstate emergency measures, including the wearing of face masks, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time, amid the tightening of Covid-19 restrictions in England last week.
The league has also announced it will “increase the frequency of both lateral flow and PCR Covid-19 testing of players and staff” as concerns heighten nationally amid the spread of the Omicron variant.
“The safety of everybody is a priority and the Premier League is taking all precautionary steps in light of the recent rise in Covid-19 cases across the country,” the statement added.
“We will continue to work closely with the Government, local authorities and supporter groups, while being responsive to any future changes to national or local guidance.”