Wolves bar players from shopping trips amid new coronavirus surge

Wolves have stopped their players from shopping again with a new variant of coronavirus spreading throughout the country.

The Premier League club told their players to protect themselves by avoiding trips to the supermarket during the first national lockdown in March.

And Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, who wants the Premier League to introduce twice-weekly Covid-19 tests for players and staff with the virus surging in England, says the club has responded by organising shopping trips for their entire squad.

“We have staff to go shopping and to the supermarkets for them,” Nuno said ahead of Sunday’s home game with Tottenham.

“We have to avoid any kind of risk because we have a small squad and we have problems with some players out.

“We cannot afford to lose any player, we tell them on a daily basis ‘don’t relax and try to be more careful’.

“Our kitchen staff puts together a big box of the basic things that we need.

“During the high moment of the pandemic everybody had it. When the situation improved we said to players ‘you are free to go and do your own shopping’.

“But now as the levels are increasing so high, and we have this new mutation that everyone is so worried about, we start putting this together again. It’s about protecting ourselves.

“We are privileged as professionals in football, so many people take care of us. It’s impossible for (the rest of) society, everybody has to take care of themselves.”

Asked whether Wolves had taken on extra staff to cope with the situation, Nuno replied: “No. As long as there’s goodwill there’s no short numbers.

“The kitchen staff, security, everybody helps. We have to stick together, as society, as a club, everybody has to help each other.”

Players and staff at Premier League clubs have been tested on a weekly basis since the start of the 2020-21 season in September.

But testing at clubs in tier four areas will next month revert to the twice-weekly level used during ‘Project Restart’ in the summer.

Wolverhampton is currently in tier three and Nuno says he wants to see testing increased throughout the Premier League.

He said: “Maybe it’s necessary. The levels of the infection rate is increasing so much.

“Unfortunately yes – to go back to two tests a week. Just to avoid a potential situation of players arriving to the match not being able to play.”

But Nuno is not concerned by Tottenham, who are in tier four London where people are told to stay at home and not travel outside the area, visiting Molineux.

“Absolutely no problems at all, I’m totally confident about that situation,” he said.

“We know how strict we are with our protocols, and we are positive that all the clubs follow the same protocols.”