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The Athletic: Premier League to continue even during UK lockdown

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Coronavirus cases are rising, but Premier League football will soldier on.

AFC Bournemouth v Sheffield United - Premier League - Vitality Stadium Photo by Mark Kerton/PA Images via Getty Images

It is appearing more and more likely that the United Kingdom England is preparing for a second lockdown by government edict due to the continuing surge of coronavirus cases. However, while the first lockdown shut down all sports including football for a few months, according to The Athletic the Premier League is set to continue with matches... at least for now.

The England lockdown has not formally been announced, but it is expected as soon as early next week and will shut down “non-essential businesses, pubs, and restaurants” for an undisclosed period of time. Schools, universities, essential businesses, and nurseries would remain open.

Premier League clubs, including players and staff, are already inside a tenuous (but permeable) bubble, with all personnel regularly tested for COVID-19 positivity, so the thinking is that so long as the current level of precautions are continued and there isn’t a significant cluster of positives within a club or clubs that matches can continue behind closed doors. However, the Athletic also states that a second lockdown would pretty much nix any chance of returning football fans to stadiums until at least 2021. There is also an outside chance that further developments could change the current plans to keep football operational, with the situation described as “fast-moving and unpredictable.”

It is notable that this article refers only to the Premier League, and not the Championship or any other EFL league below the top flight. It is not known whether or how the EFL might be affected by a lockdown.