Pep Guardiola hints at second Premier League lockdown

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has cast doubt on whether the Premier League should carry on through a second national lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the restrictions on Saturday with all non-essential services to close from Thursday for a four-week period.

Elite sport has been given an exemption to continue as normal, although fans will still be prohibited from attending matches.

The Premier League paused its season when the country went into the first lockdown, resuming only when a fully-operational testing system was in place.

And Guardiola has now questioned whether it is the right decision to carry on playing this time around.

Speaking ahead of Johnson's speech, the Blues boss said: "It's difficult. I know the prime minister is taking the decision because the situation is getting worse. It happened in Spain, Germany and France. Everywhere.

"So the virus is still there. Maybe people say it is stronger. I think the world of football cannot be an exception in what is happening in society.

"So if we have to play, we will play. But we don't want to be different from the rest of society when they have to close restaurants or close whatever.

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"It's a position in which I am not involved. I want to be safe. I want to keep well for myself, for my family, my friends, for all England, all of the UK. But honestly I don't know."

Guardiola urged the public to take the second wave of Covid-19 seriously – and do as asked and stay inside their homes.

"It's not a joke. It's serious," he added. "If he says stay at home, you have to stay at home. If he says don't do this, we don't do it.

"Because it's not fair for half of the population doing what we have to do and the prime minister says this, and the rest of the people do whatever they want.

"So we have to be conscious – the reality is tough, it's difficult. If we have to stop, we are going to stop.

"If we have to play, because they decide it's good for society or for I don't know, just be alert, be careful, take maximum consciousness of the dangers of the situation in which we are living."

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