Boris Johnson confirms Premier League will continue despite second lockdown in England

Boris Johnson has confirmed the Premier League season will continue despite unveiling plans for a second lockdown in England.

The Prime Minister has announced a month-long period of heightened restrictions lasting until December 2 in an attempt to stem the rise in coronavirus cases.

During the first lockdown, which started in March, England’s top flight was suspended. It took over three months for the season to resume when Liverpool were eventually crowned champions, albeit with games played behind closed doors.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

This time around the government has confirmed elite sport can continue, although all leagues below the National League North and National League South will be suspended.

“I can say yes to the Premier League, I think with authority,” said Johnson.

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters believes the Premier League is well prepared to carry on during the second lockdown.

Strict testing measures are already in place, with thousands of Covid-19 swabs carried out each week for players and club staff.

Masters said: “We don’t feel the closed doors model is at risk at the moment.

“We think we’ve got a proven model that worked in Project Restart, and at the moment we’re happy, and so are government, that we can continue.”

The latest news, though, means the return of supporters to stadiums is likely to be pushed back until 2021 at the earliest. It had been originally scheduled for October.

Elsewhere, UEFA has extended the deadline for teams to complete Champions League and Europa League group-stage matches until January 28.

A neutral venue must be found to avoid forfeiting the fixture 3-0 if clubs cannot host home matches in their own country due to national restrictions.

The UEFA Nations League fixture between Belgium and England on November 15 has been switched from the capital Brussels to Leuven due to a 10pm curfew in the city.