Patrick Vieira has revealed Crystal Palace will no longer have a Christmas party due to the escalating coronavirus situation in the country.
The Government announced on Wednesday it had implemented ‘Plan B’ in response to the spread of the Omicron variant, which means proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative lateral flow test will be required for spectators to attend sporting events in England with crowds of over 10,000.
Vieira, who revealed he is double vaccinated ahead of Sunday’s game with Everton, remembers celebrating during the festive period as a player but revealed a joint decision had been made to scrap such plans for his squad at this time of year.
“This is part of the culture of this country, this Christmas party the players are doing,” he said.
“We did it a couple of years ago and this is something players like to do but obviously with the situation, we and the players decided to cancel the Christmas party and this was the right thing to do.”
Palace’s Premier League rivals Tottenham are in the middle of a Covid-19 crisis with an outbreak at the north London club forcing them to postpone matches with Rennes and Brighton this week.
Eagles boss Vieira is happy with the protocols in place at Selhurst Park but continues to stress to his squad the importance of what they do outside of training.
He added: “I am just like everybody else. We are all worried about the increase of positive cases, not just in football but in our society.
“Everywhere else the cases are getting more and more. If outside the cases are more, obviously it will be more in football clubs.
“We just have to be careful and hopefully everyone will pay a bit more attention over how we socialise from outside of the training facility.”
Vieira declined to comment on how many of his squad have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccination when quizzed on the fact NHS Covid passes will be required for people to attend large sporting events, although a negative lateral flow test will also be sufficient.
He did reveal he “strongly” believed in the vaccine which has been a topic of debate in football during recent months regarding how many players are vaccinated amid speculation conspiracy theories had influenced their decisions.
“It is not my place to say what has to be mandatory or not,” Vieira insisted.
“We are like everybody outside following a process by the Government’s rules and we all in this football club will follow those rules.
“There is some specialist who will have to say if it is mandatory or not to have the vaccine or these kind of passes you need to go into the stadium.
“The only thing I can tell you is myself I have the double vaccination and I strongly believe we need to have it but everyone has to make their own decision on that side.”
Jack Butland, Luka Milivojevic, Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha all tested positive for Covid-19 last season.