Escalating Covid situation sees Premier League clubs push for festive shutdown

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Premier League clubs are pushing for a festive firebreak to combat the Covid-19 outbreak in squads.

That is according to the Manchester Evening News, who claim clubs are hoping to shut down matches until the FA Cup third round, which is due to get underway on January 7.

The Premier League would not be due to resume until the weekend of January 15, which would mean missing at least three rounds of matches, with a number of clubs already playing catch-up following multiple postponements.

Leeds United have not yet faced any cancellations in their fixtures, despite five Premier League games having already been called off ahead of the weekend round of matches.

Leeds versus Arsenal, Aston Villa versus Burnley, Wolves versus Chelsea, Newcastle versus Manchester City, and Tottenham versus Liverpool are the only ones scheduled to go ahead, at the time of writing.

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Leeds are believed to be one of the clubs to have a high percentage of players double vaccinated. The Premier League has not released any data on vaccine uptake by players since October when it stated 68 per cent of players were vaccinated.

In the same month, it emerged 98 per cent of players and staff in Serie A were vaccinated and 94 per cent in the Bundesliga. In La Liga, 93 per cent of players and staff are fully vaccinated.

The Premier League has already expressed its desire to keep playing matches that are viewed as safe to do so, and has reintroduced emergency measure protocols.

The prospect of fulfilling postponed fixtures would almost definitely put an end to Premier League clubs’ winter breaks in January and February.

The current Premier League season is scheduled to end on May 22 and the football calendar next year is already set to be jam-packed given next year’s World Cup in Qatar, which starts on November 21.

The final is staged on December 18 and the 2022-23 Premier League campaign is scheduled to resume on Boxing Day.

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