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Two new COVID-19 cases in Premier League

Two more individuals connected to two unnamed Premier League clubs have tested positive for coronavirus.

The second round of COVID-19 tests were conducted over the past few days on 996 players and staff from clubs and confirmed two more cases, with those people now isolating for seven days

It takes the number of positive tests to eight from England's top-flight clubs whose players returned to limited group training on Tuesday.

In the first round of testing, six people were shown to have the virus, including Watford defender Adrian Mariappa and Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan.

"The Premier League can today confirm that on Tuesday 19 May, Thursday 21 May and Friday 22 May, 996 players and club staff were tested for Covid-19. Of these, two have tested positive from two clubs," a Premier League statement on Saturday read.

"Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.

The Premier league said it would not be providing details of the identities of the two new positive tests.

No matches have been played in the Premier League since March, but the government has given the green light for a return for elite sport on June 1.

The Premier League's 'Project Restart' hopes to resume next month with June 19 a mooted date.

The latest test results, with 248 more people tested in the second round, will be seen as a step forward for Project Restart going into Tuesday's Premier League shareholders' meeting, where clubs are expected to discuss the protocols of moving to contact training.

The six people who tested positive in the first round were not checked this time due to being in self-isolation, while the capacity of testing at each club has increased from 40 to 50.

After clubs unanimously voted on Monday to resume limited group training, players up and down the league have returned to their training grounds with team-mates this week after more than two months away.

But there is still some concerns for players, with the likes of Watford captain Troy Deeney and Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante staying away over safety fears.

It has been a particularly tough time for Watford as, along with Mariappa, two members of staff tested positive, while boss Nigel Pearson revealed on Friday that several of his players were at home in isolation after members of their family had the virus.

© AP 2020