City-Madrid: lockdown measures in place in Manchester

The British government have introduced lockdown measures for specific regions which have seen sharp rises in Covid-19 cases - including Manchester.

Manchester will be tightening up measures to curb the spread of coronavirus after new restrictions were announced on Thursday night - just eight days before Manchester City and Real Madrid play out their Champions League Last 16 return leg. The number of positive cases detected in the Greater Manchester region has risen, prompting the British government to enforce a total lockdown which come into place from midnight tonight. Under new lockdown rules, people from different households will not be allowed to meet under the same roof, either in individual homes or in public places such as pubs and restaurants.

Covid-19 cases rising in northern England

During the past week, 689 new cases have been reported in the region, an increase of 50% on the previous week. In one district, Tameside, fresh cases have multiplied by four. Health Minister Matt Hancock, issued a press release to give details of the new lockdown restrictions. “We take this action with a heavy heart but unfortunately it's necessary because we've seen that households meeting up and a lack of social distancing is one of the causes of this rising rate of coronavirus and we'll do whatever is necessary to keep the country safe”. Lockdown rules affect primarily areas in the north of the country and will be reviewed every seven days.

Real Madrid will forge ahead with their travel plans as arranged because as of the moment,  professional sports teams and the personnel who accompany them (coaches, medical staff and other employees…) are allowed to travel to the UK without having to spend 14 days in quarantine - a measure which was implemented a few days ago to try and bring the new outbreaks of coronavirus under control. Madrid will be able to fly out to England as theirs is a special case - security will be extremely tight from moment the players board the plane to their arrival at the team hotel as well as the journey to and from the Etihad Stadium on 7 August.

UEFA were open to staging the game in Portugal, but were persuaded by Manchester City to hold it where it was originally planned - at the Etihad.