The English Premier League have announced that six players or club staff have returned positive tests for COVID-19 [premierleague.com].

The Scottish Premiership season was officially ended on Monday with Celtic declared champions and Hearts relegated in a decision that has angered many Rangers fans.

All clubs and the governing body came to an agreement that there was no realistic, financially viable, prospect of resuming fixtures for a number of months, with final standings then calculated on a points per game basis.

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It’s a very different story south of the border, though.

With lockdown restrictions gradually being eased in England, preparations are being stepped up with a view to restarting the top-flight in June.

 

To that end, 748 players and staff members have been tested for the virus, with the Premier League confirming in a statement on Monday afternoon that six individuals from three clubs returned positive tests [premierleague.com].

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

“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.”

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

The Premier League still intends to restart as soon as it is safe to do so. (Photo by Ashley Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

The positive tests are a reminder that the virus continues to spread despite players and staff being required to follow strict guidelines since the suspension of play in mid-March.

However, this number of positive tests is unlikely to halt preparations for the restart of the league.

The top two divisions of German football restarted over the weekend despite the postponement of Dynamo Dresden vs Hannover after positive tests for two Dynamo players saw all club personnel be ordered to observe 14 days of quarantine at home [Sky Sports].

Earlier in the month, five new positive tests were returned across the top two leagues in Spain [The Guardian], but La Liga is still aiming to resume fixtures in mid-June.

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