Leicester City given all clear to host Crystal Palace at the King Power Stadium on Saturday after city was placed into its own lockdown amid spike in coronavirus cases
- Leicester’s lockdown has been extended due to a regional coronavirus flare-up
- Leicester City are due to play at home against Crystal Palace on Saturday
- There were concerns it could prevent it being played at the King Power Stadium
- But Leicester confirmed on Tuesday night the game would go ahead as planned
Liecester’s home clash against Crystal Palace will go ahead as normal on Saturday despite the city’s prolonged lockdown.
The Foxes remaining home fixtures will, for the time being, remain unaffected despite doubts over whether the King Power Stadium can stage games after Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed lockdown procedures in Leicester would be extended.
There was a safety advisory meeting on Tuesday to discuss whether Palace’s visit can go ahead as normal, or whether the game would better suited to be played at a neutral venue.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes the club’s stadium remains a very safe environment
The Government appeared to have given Leicester the all clear to host Saturday’s clash
Speaking on Sky News, Hancock confirmed that the game could go ahead as normal and the Foxes will continue to play home games as normal unless there is another surge in cases.
Palace were yesterday in dialogue with their counterparts at Leicester and were relaxed about the venue, leaving the decision purely down to the authorities.
Brendan Rodgers’ plans for Wednesday’s clash at Everton were unaffected as players trained normally at their HQ, which is just three miles from the city centre.
Health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that the game can go ahead as normal on Tuesday
Likewise, there was a confidence at the Premier League that the clash should go ahead as normal given the most recent set of coronavirus tests produced just one positive result out of 2,250 samples.
Speaking on Tuesday morning, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee that contingency plans are in place if the decision was made not to play the game in Leicester: ‘We’ve had a long discussion with authorities about neutral venues.
‘If what happens in Leicester does impact the club’s ability to host games, either Crystal Palace or later, we have the ability to host those games elsewhere or postpone them until it is safe to do so.’
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said contingency plans are in place
This map published by Public Health England outlines the area surrounding Leicester which may be subject to strict lockdown measures from tomorrow. The King Power stadium is located just to the south of the city centre.
A spike in COVID-19 cases mean all non-essential shops must close as well as local schools
LEICESTER’S LOCKDOWN RULES
The streets of Leicester were almost empty this morning as residents responded to the warnings about a coronavirus surge
– All non-essential shops will close from today, with law to be rushed through to underpin the new restrictions, after 800-plus cases were recorded in Leicester since mid-June and the area accounted for around 10 per cent of all positive tests in the UK over the past week.
– Schools will close from Thursday and will not reopen until next term, amid fears an unusually high incidence in children is driving the spread. They will stay open for vulnerable children and offspring of key workers.
– People are advised to avoid all but essential travel to, from, and within Leicester and should “stay at home as much as you can”, but there is no formal travel ban at this stage.
– Easing of lockdown in England on Saturday will not apply in Leicester, meaning pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas will stay shut.
– Shielding measures will not be loosened in the city on 6 July, unlike the rest of England where the most clinically-vulnerable will be able to spend more time outside.