The Premier League's 'irresponsible' decision to allow thousands of football supporters back into matches this season without demanding proof of Covid vaccine status or negative test results could lead to another lockdown, a Government scientist has warned.
Professor Ravindra Gupta, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), 스핀카지노 said the Premier League's reluctance to force clubs to conduct spot checks 'shows a contempt for the health of football fans and the staff working at these clubs'.
Speaking to MailOnline, he added that a failure to suppress Covid transmission could inadvertently create a super-spreader causing a 'radical expansion in cases' and the reintroduction of restrictions including compulsory facemasks, social distancing and lockdowns.
Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Arsenal all demand proof of vaccination or negative test results, but fans are not required to show their Covid status at matches in other venues.
Yet when football supporters returned in limited capacity in mid-May and attended Euro 2020 matches, they all had to demonstrate evidence of full vaccination or a negative lateral flow test.
Attendance at last weekend's matches numbered in the tens of thousands, with 51,437 piling into Anfield stadium to watch Liverpool v Burnely, 41,964 at Villa Park watching Aston Villa v Newcastle United, and 36,293 packed in Elland Road for Leeds United v Everton.
Professor Gupta warned: 'I think the Premier League's decision not to force clubs to demand proof of vaccination or negative test results is really irresponsible, it's dangerous, and it shows a contempt for the health of football fans and the staff working at these clubs.
'It could also prove to be an own goal.
If we see a radical expansion in cases and this can be traced to a super-spreader event like a football match, then it will lead to calls for more severe restrictions to be imposed - and that would be much worse for the Premier League.
'Other places are already asking for vaccine status and test results - I'm thinking of the Reading Festival this weekend - so why shouldn't the same be in place for mass gatherings like football matches? It doesn't make sense to wait for the Government to publish guidance, they should be cracking on with it.'
MailOnline has contacted the Premier League for comment.
The return of mass events - such as Reading Festival, at which more than 90,000 revellers are due to party over the Bank Holiday weekend - is sparking fears of a fourth wave.
Britain's outbreak grew yesterday, as another 140 deaths and 38,281 cases were recorded. Latest hospital data shows there were 818 patients admitted with the virus on August 22 - a small 1.7 per cent rise week-on-week.
Boris Johnson has reportedly privately said he will only reimpose Covid restrictions if the number of deaths is heading for 50,000 a year and is accused of accepting that there could 30,000 or more virus deaths in the next 12 months - allegations denied by Downing Street.
It came as:
Liverpool fans hold their scarves up and sing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' at the Liverpool v Burnley clash on August 21, 2021
Fans of Manchester City during the Manchester City v Norwich City match at Etihad Stadium on August 21, 2021
Professor Ravindra Gupta, who sits on the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said the Premier League's reluctance to force clubs to conduct spot checks 'shows a contempt for the health of football fans and the staff working at these clubs'