Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola called on supporters to get vaccinated and wear masks in stadiums to limit the spread of COVID-19 and avoid the possibility of games again being played behind closed doors.
Premier League clubs have been enjoying capacity crowds this season after playing virtually the whole of last term and part of the campaign before that in front of empty or restricted stands after the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020.
Britain reported a record 122,186 new daily COVID-19 cases on Friday as it battles a surge in infections fuelled by the Omicron variant.
“I would not love it, honestly,” Guardiola said of the prospect of playing in closed stadiums. “But cases are rising all around the world, not only in the UK. These people go to the stadiums and they can contaminate.
“In the stadiums, people don’t wear masks. It’s what I’m surprised about the most … We should start again — vaccination, booster if this is what is decided, but as part of that hand sanitizer, social distancing and masks too.
“I trust the scientists because they know exactly, absolutely more than I know … People don’t die when they take a vaccine, people can die if they don’t take a vaccine …. We have to try to do it otherwise another barrier is coming.”
Guardiola’s City are top of the league standings with 44 points, three clear of Liverpool. They host Leicester City on Sunday.