COVID-19 Protocols: EPL Chief Warns Premier League Clubs

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Photo: Twitter/Premier League.

 

Premier League clubs must set an example in adhering to coronavirus protocols or risk sanctions, the league’s chief executive has warned.

The EPL sent out new directives last week including demands that players tone down celebrations such as hugging after goals are scored and avoid handshakes and swapping shirts.

EPL chief executive Richard Masters followed that up with a letter to clubs on Tuesday, writing: “We are fortunate to be able to continue to play and bring our competition to fans at home and around the world.

“This brings justified additional scrutiny and the Premier League must take the lead in setting the right example to follow.”

Manchester United players clearly had not received the message as they joyously celebrated Paul Pogba’s goal in the 1-0 win over Burnley on Tuesday which sent them three points clear at the top of the table.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said afterwards: “We’ll do our best to keep with the guidelines because we all want football to carry on safely.”

Similar instructions have also been issued by the English Football League (EFL) and their chief executive Trevor Birch warned clubs on Tuesday the season could be halted if the government sees any further flouting of the rules.

Britain is battling a new, more transmissible strain of the virus that is spreading rapidly. Schools and non-essential shops are closed and people are being urged to work from home.

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Last week saw the worst daily case numbers and death tolls since the start of the outbreak, prompting calls for even tougher rules, including increasing social distancing.

The Premier League has so far been forced to postpone far fewer matches than the EFL due to coronavirus infections. Only a handful of games have been called compared to over 50 outside the top flight.

However, there are doubts surrounding Aston Villa’s game with Everton this weekend which has already been moved to Sunday from the original Saturday slot.

Villa have been unable to fulfil Wednesday’s league clash with Tottenham Hotspur because several of their players and staff tested positive for coronavirus last week, forcing their training ground to be closed.

Villa had to field a team of teenagers in the FA Cup defeat against Liverpool.

Masters admits more postponements may be on the cards.

“It is already clear that we must do all we can to efficiently utilise all available calendar slots,” he said.

“Given there have been three significant Covid-19 outbreaks at clubs to date and we should therefore realistically plan for the fact that there may be more.”

He also warned that clubs’ requests for postponements will often be “at short notice”.

PTF Insists 12am-4am Curfew Remains, Announces New COVID-19 Protocols

PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, briefs reporters in Abuja on December 24, 2020.

 

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has insisted that the 12am-4am curfew remains in force amid the second wave of coronavirus in the country.

Dr Sani Aliyu, who is the National Coordinator of the PTF, stated this on Thursday while briefing reporters in Abuja.

He also announced new protocols as part of measures to curb the spread of the disease, including the closure of bars and clubs in various parts of the country.

The PTF coordinator called on the security agencies to enforce the protocols on the use of face masks and physical distancing.

He echoed the directive that civil servants on Grade Level 12 and below should work from home and asked the permanent secretaries in the respective ministries to enforce the order.

READ ALSO: Don’t Close Down Your COVID-19 Treatment Centres, PTF Begs State Govts

Among other protocols, Aliyu called on state authorities to delay the resumption of schools until at least January 18, 2021.

He also gave an update on what the Federal Government was doing about the new strain of COVID-19 discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

The PTF coordinator disclosed that from Monday next week, all passengers coming in from the UK and South Africa would be compelled to provide their details on the online portal.

According to him, they will also be made to pay for PCR testing on arrival and must test negative and be presented a permit to travel before they will be allowed into Nigeria.

Aliyu noted that a register would also be opened for all passengers from the two countries and the government would ensure that they take the test after seven days.

He gave an assurance that the Federal Government would ensure that those who evade the process were severely dealt with.

The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, also gave an update on the pandemic at the press briefing.

Others who briefed reporters were the Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, and the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu.

FG Announces Reopening Of NYSC Camp

 

The Federal Government has announced the re-opening of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camps across the country.

The announcement was made on Thursday by the Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare.

The orientation camps are scheduled for reopening on November 10.

“The Resumption of the NYSC Orientation Camp for prospective Youth Corpers has been approved and opens on November 10th, 2020. Full COVID-19 Protocols will be enforced,” Dare posted on his official Twitter handle.

 

The Federal Government on March 18 ordered the closure of the NYSC orientation camps nationwide due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NSCDC) on Wednesday announced that the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country has increased to 60,834 with 52,143 patients discharged. Also, 1116 fatalities have so far been recorded.