No positive results in EPL's latest coronavirus tests
The English Premier League's planned restart on June 17 received a further boost last Saturday when the latest batch of Covid-19 tests produced no positive results.
The tests were carried out on Thursday and Friday.
"The Premier League can today confirm that on Thursday (May 28) and Friday (May 29), 1,130 players and club staff were tested for Covid-19. Of these, zero have tested positive," the league said in a statement.
In the three previous rounds of testing since players resumed training, there were 12 positives.
No EPL matches have been played since March, but the league said on Thursday that the season will restart on June 17, provided all safety requirements have been met.
On Saturday, the government gave the green light for the resumption of elite sport in England from today, provided that strict safety guidelines outlined in its "Stage Three" protocol were adhered to.
The Premier League's chief executive Richard Masters said he welcomed the government's announcement, but added that there was still work to be done to "ensure the safety of everyone involved".
"All major sports, including the Premier League, have been working together with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to produce this 'Stage Three' protocol," he said.
"We could not have reached this point without the full support of the Government, especially DCMS, Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer's team.
"If all goes well, we will be thrilled to resume the 2019/20 season in just over two weeks."
There are 92 fixtures remaining, all of which will be played without fans, although the EPL said every game will be broadcast "live" in the UK by its existing broadcast partners: Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport and Amazon Prime.
The EPL had reached an agreement for a "significant proportion" of its remaining matches to be made available for "live" broadcast on free-to-air platforms, including for the first time, BBC Sport. - REUTERS