Premier League confirms six positive coronavirus tests

Six Premier League players and staff members have tested positive for coronavirus after a round of tests were conducted as part of Project Restart.

Six Premier League players and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 after 748 tests were conducted on May 17 and 18. It is believed the confirmed cases come from three clubs.

Premier League teams will test players and staff members twice a week in a bid to get the 2019/20 campaign back underway. It is believed the results come from 19 clubs, with one waiting until yesterday to conduct their checks.

A statement read: “The Premier League can today confirm that, on Sunday 17 May and Monday 18 May, 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19. Of these, six have tested positive from three clubs.

“Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.

“The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and oversight.

“No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the Premier League due to legal and operational requirements.”

A number of Premier League clubs were due to resume training in small groups on Tuesday under stage one of the return to training plan. It allows squads to socially distance while training in small groups, although contact is not permitted.

The top flight are aiming to resume action behind closed doors by June 12, although the start date could be pushed back by up to two weeks in case there are bumps along the road.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: “I think once you know when you can start full contact training, and we’ve had a proper discussion about clubs over how much is required to create the fitness levels before they can start playing, you’re then in a position to confirm when the season start date is,” he said.

“We haven’t changed the start date; we have to be flexible about it. What we don’t want to do is continually to move that start date. So, we haven’t changed it but we need to be flexible and acknowledge we’re in a step-by-step process.”

Watford are due to resume training on Wednesday, although skipper Troy Deeney has revealed he will not be back due to concerns about potentially contracting and spreading the virus to his family.

“We’re due back in this week. I’ve said I’m not going in. It’s nothing to do with financial gain,” Deeney said. “When I go into full detail about my personal situation, everyone here will go ‘no problem’.

“My son is five months and he’s had breathing difficulties. I don’t want to come home and put him in more danger. You’ve got to drive in in your own kit, you can’t have showers, then drive back in the same dirty kit you’ve got.

“If I’m putting my clothing in with my son’s or my missus’ it’s more likely to be in the house.”

The Government has advised the Premier League that players would have to be quarantined in hotels for two weeks before the season restarts if it is to have any impact on the chances of spreading coronavirus.