Premier League players will be forced to report to club training grounds for PCR tests on Christmas Day as part of a massively increased screening programme designed to save the festive programme from the threat of an Omicron shutdown.
Under new emergency protocols agreed by clubs on Tuesday, players will be asked to take up to nine Covid-19 tests each week - seven lateral flow and two PCR - due to fears about the greater transmissibility of the new variant.
While clubs unanimously agreed to the new testing regime, there are concerns in some quarters about the logistics involved, particularly the decision to make PCR tests mandatory the day before each fixture.
Christmas Day PCR tests will be required for Premier League players under new protocols
As a result, away teams may have to travel considerable distances while waiting for test results to ensure games can go ahead.
That may lead to the