The Premier League is planning on hosting an emergency meeting on Friday, according to Martyn Ziegler of The Times. The news of such a meeting comes shortly after learning that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus.
Just prior to Arsenal's release on Arteta, and despite countless leagues and events throughout sports suspending their operations or canceling events in their entirety, the English Premier League said that this weekend's games will take place as scheduled.
"Following the latest update from Government issued this afternoon, all Premier League matches will go ahead as scheduled this weekend," the league said in a statement. "While the Prime Minister advised that all sporting events should take place as normal for now, he also indicated that Government is considering banning major public events, like sporting fixtures."
The English Football League, which comprises the second, third and fourth divisions in the English football system, is also continuing to take place as normal.
As of now, fans will be permitted to attended league events in their entirety despite a number of people in the Premier League being linked to COVID-19.
Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday night, the team announced. Chelsea players and personnel who came in contact with Hudson-Odoi will go into self-isolation and the club's training facility will undergo a partial closure.
Three players from Leicester City were placed in isolation on Thursday after showing symptoms connected to coronavirus. This week's Arsenal-Manchester City match was also postponed amid concerns as Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis reportedly had contracted coronavirus just over 10 days after Arsenal played Olympiacos at the English team's stadium.
Earlier this week, the Italian government announced that sporting events in Italy will be held without spectators until at least April 3.
EuroLeague basketball has also been suspended until further notice.
As of Thursday evening, almost 600 people have currently tested positive for coronavirus in the United Kingdom. That's a five-fold increase compared to one week ago.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it the "worst public health crisis for a generation” and said that "the true number of cases is higher—perhaps much higher—than the number of cases we have so far confirmed with tests."