Footballers should rein in celebrations, says medical chief Jonathan Van-Tam

England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, has called on footballers to behave responsibly and stop celebrating in close proximity to each other to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Players flouting social-distancing rules have been in the news after video emerged of teams celebrating in dressing rooms following last weekend’s FA Cup third-round matches.

The Professional Footballers’ Association, Premier League and Football League have written to clubs and players asking them to follow social-distancing guidelines as Britain continues to grapple with a fast-spreading new strain of the virus.

“We are in a very dangerous place now,” Van-Tam told LBC Radio in response to a question on whether players should be hugging and kissing each other to celebrate goals.

“We cannot relax until we have a substantially vaccinated population … every close human contact that is avoidable should be avoided because one in three of us will get the infection and have no symptoms at all”

Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola and his Arsenal counterpart Mikel Arteta are among those who have questioned if players will follow rules relating to goal celebrations.