Sodden and untouched, football pitches across the UK have, like so many of the public spaces that we tend to take for granted, fallen silent with the advent of the latest lockdown. It is hard to under-state the importance of the sport to the nation’s morale. Just recall the scramble to get the Premier League up and running again in the spring. Even without anyone in the stands, the return of football to our screens was undeniably a boon to countless Britons.
The Premier League was only able to return as a result of its implementation of a strict testing regime. Players are constantly tested and monitored in order to break chains of transmission as early as possible. As a result, infection rates remain shockingly low.
All the players and staff in each club are tested once a week, using the same sorts of tests as the NHS. For most clubs, this will mean using around 40 such tests every week. A testing regime like this is simply too expensive for smaller teams. Whether its minor-league clubs or just unprofessional leagues, however, they are no less important to the people of this country, forming the foundation of their weekends and recreational time.
These last few weeks have been, for many, a confused and distressing period. The virus seems to be resurgent and all of the zeal that many had felt for the fight ten months ago has dissolved into despairing fatigue. The singular streak of optimism, as is so often repeated these days, is the imminence of mass-vaccination. Clearly, however, we could use a little more good news.
Ever since the pandemic came ashore in the UK, this blog has been devoted to advocating for the wide-spread use of rapid testing. Given the physical contact, football is one of those spheres which stands to greatly benefit from such a programme. Administering a rapid test to each player before a game or training session, you’ll know in just 15 minutes whether they are safe to interact with others – or not.
If you’re interested in saving local football, check out our range of rapid tests over on our online shop.