Eric Clapton tests positive for COVID-19 and postpones two European tour dates
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Eric Clapton postpones two dates of his European tour which has just started after testing positive for COVID-19.
The legendary 77-year-old guitarist made the announcement Monday in a statement posted on both his website and his official Facebook page. Clapton’s diagnosis is particularly notable as he has been a vocal skeptic of vaccines and a critic of the lockdown.
“Eric Clapton is sadly suffering from Covid after testing positive shortly after the second concert at the Royal Albert Hall,” Clapton’s statement read. “His medical advisors have told him that if he were to resume traveling and performing too soon, it could significantly delay his full recovery. Eric is also keen to avoid transmitting any infections to any of his bands, his team, its promoters, its staff and of course the fans.
READ MORE: Queen’s Brian May calls Eric Clapton and other anti-vaxxers ‘Fruitcakes’
The rescheduled shows were to take place in Zurich on May 17 and Milan on May 18. Clapton had just started his European tour with two performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London before announcing the postponement.
Clapton said his decision to reschedule was made “after intense internal discussions”, adding that the “current hope” was to continue the tour on May 20 with the first of two concerts in Bologna.
“It is very frustrating that having avoided Covid throughout the lockdown and throughout the time travel restrictions have been in place, Eric has succumbed to Covid at this point,” Clapton’s statement continued, ” but we really hope that he will be sufficiently recovered by the end of the week to be able to carry out the rest of the scheduled performances.
Clapton told fans that the postponed shows in Zurich and Milan will be rescheduled within the next 6 months.
Scheduling issues have long plagued Clapton’s tour. Originally scheduled for 2020, he postponed it to 2021, then later to 2022 due to COVID.
The rocker also teamed up with Van Morrison, another lockdown critic, in December 2020 to release the anti-lockdown track, “Stand and Deliver”. He then released an anti-lockdown solo song, “This Has Gotta Stop”, in August 2021, which features lyrics such as “Do you want to be a free man or do you want to be a slave?”
Clapton even went so far as to spread a largely debunked conspiracy theory that suggests subliminal messages intended to compel mass compliance with COVID safety guidelines are embedded in YouTube videos.
READ MORE: Eric Clapton refuses to perform at venues requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination
Although he once said he wouldn’t perform at venues requiring attendees to show proof of vaccinations, he eventually went back on his word when he played a show in New Orleans in September 2021. who had such requirements.