Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City players have been told to avoid Christmas parties where possible as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the UK.
Tottenham‘s Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday has been postponed after the North London club confirmed eight players and five staff members have tested positive for Covid as the Omicron variant sweeps through the county.
It’s almost a year since City had a game with Everton postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak and Guardiola has told his players they must remain vigilant, especially during the festive period.
“The club speak with them and they know that they have to be careful and know not to go to gatherings and be at home as much as possible or when you go out be careful, social distance, wear a mask and come back,” Guardiola told a news conference on Friday.
“You are chancing that you will not get it because it’s there. Just see the statistics and the rules of the government and it is still there unfortunately.
“There are setbacks and you have to protect yourself because at Christmas time they have a tendency for more parties and go out more often and in that you have to be careful.”
Kevin De Bruyne has only just returned from a bout of COVID and with five games to come before the end of the year, Guardiola admits losing more players would represent a “big problem.”
“I think the situation is completely different to last season,” he said. “The club, for example, this organisation every winter time or Christmas time organises a party for all the workers, all the people here and we cancelled it. We cannot do it.
“Everyone at home when they’re with a family and kids organise a party, I think they’re going to do it but just be careful.
“We’re not going to say don’t do it, just be careful and that’s all because the risk is high. Look what happened in other teams like Tottenham and Leicester and many many cases.
“It can happen here as well if we don’t pay attention and after that is a big problem. For them of course for the health and for the family, and of course for the team.”