Premier League sides can apply for a fixture postponement only if they have at least four positive COVID-19 cases in their squads, the league said on Wednesday following a meeting of representatives of all 20 clubs.
A total of 22 matches have been called off this season because of COVID-19 outbreaks and the subsequent unavailability of players, with the league being criticised by certain clubs for their handling of the crisis.
Prior, a match could be postponed if one of the teams did not have 13 available outfield players – – and one goalkeeper — “either from its squad list or its appropriately experienced Under-21 players”.
“Following a club meeting today, the Premier League’s COVID-19 match postponement guidance has been updated to include a COVID-19 impact threshold” the league said in a statement.
Following a club meeting today, the Premier League's COVID-19 match postponement guidance has been updated to include a COVID-19 impact threshold
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 26, 2022
“From now on, if a club applies to postpone a match on the grounds of insufficient players due to COVID-19, they must have a minimum of four positive cases within their squad.”
The new guidelines will start ahead of the match between Burnley and Watford on Feb. 5
The league added: “Club applications will continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The Premier League Board examines a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of COVID-19.”