Forty individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in the latest round of testing carried out on players and personnel of the English Premier League (EPL) clubs.
Elite sport will be allowed to continue in England despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing a new national COVID-19 lockdown on Monday due to surging infections in the country caused by a more contagious variant of the novel coronavirus.
In the first round of testing last week, 28 positive cases were detected from 1,311 tests, with a further 12 positives from 984 tests in the second round of testing.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola defended full-back Benjamin Mendy at a pre-match press conference on Monday after he also breached restrictions on New Year's Eve.
Women's football, which restarts next weekend, faces a slew of postponed matches after a number of players tested positive for Covid - most notably at Arsenal and Manchester City after their stars took holidays in Dubai during the winter break. "I'm not justifying that, he (Mendy) broke the rules".
"Never mind that ordinary people pay players' bills".
However, England's top flight insists it has "confidence" in its Covid-19 protocols, with no plans to pause the season despite a rise in positive cases.
The 20-team league had eight matches from Friday through Sunday and has another 15 matches scheduled for next week.
The club expressed "disappointment" over Mendy's actions, but Guardiola said: 'It would be better if, before we judge others, we judge ourselves.
Pictures of Tottenham trio Erik Lamela, Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso and West Ham's Manuel Lanzini attending a Christmas party with family and friends emerged over the weekend, prompting Spurs to promise internal disciplinary proceedings.
Those issues leave have elite sport at risk of losing the privileges it is now afforded, by continuing while most other activities have been curtailed. "Of course it was not correct what he has done, but don't judge him too much. Of these, there were 28 new positive tests", Premier League said in a statement.
League Two side Morecambe, who are due to play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, announced on December 28 that they were postponing their fixtures against Bolton and Bradford and closing their training ground for 10 days due to an outbreak of COVID-19 at the club.