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Eric Clapton tests positive for Covid-19, postpones shows

Eric Clapton performing live
(Image credit: Harry Herd/Redferns via Getty)

Eric Clapton has tested positive for Covid-19, a statement posted to his official Facebook page has announced.

The positive result means the blues guitarist has been forced to postpone two shows scheduled to take place this week at the Hallenstadion, Zurich (May 17) and Mediolanum Forum near Milan (May 18). 

New dates will be decided and rescheduled to take place within the next six months. At the time of writing, Clapton and his crew hope to continue the tour on May 20, when they are due to perform in Bologna for two consecutive nights.

“Eric Clapton is unfortunately suffering from Covid having tested positive shortly after the second concert at the Royal Albert Hall,” the statement read. “He has been told by his medical advisors that if he were to resume traveling and performing too soon, it could substantially delay his full recovery.”

It continued, “Eric is also anxious to avoid passing on any infection to any of his band, crew, promoters, their staff and of course the fans.”

After confirming the schedule shake-up the post went on to express Clapton’s frustration at receiving a positive test after avoiding the virus for the whole of lockdown and while travel restrictions were in place.

“It is very frustrating,” the statement added, “that having avoided Covid throughout lockdown and throughout the period when travel restrictions have been in place, Eric should have succumbed to Covid at this point in time, but we very much hope he will be sufficiently recovered by the end of the week to be able to perform the remainder of the planned performances.

“A further announcement will be made concerning the rescheduling of the postposed shows once suitable dates can be identified. The shows are due to be rescheduled within the next 6 months and tickets purchased will remain valid for the new rescheduled date.”

For a full list of tour dates, visit Eric Clapton's website (opens in new tab).

Clapton made headlines multiple times during the pandemic for his views towards Covid-19 and its vaccine, saying those who received the vaccine may be victims of “mass formation hypnosis” (opens in new tab).

He also teamed up with fellow vaccine skeptic Robin Monotti for a single titled Heart of a Child, which reportedly took aim at lockdown policies and restrictions. In a letter shared by Monotti (opens in new tab), Clapton also admonished the “propaganda” surrounding the vaccine and claimed he “feared I would never play again” after receiving it himself.

Another track he released, Stand and Deliver – which Clapton recorded with Van Morrison – featured similar sentiments.

In response to the latter song, which seemed to compare lockdown to slavery, Robert Cray cut all ties with Clapton, saying, “I’d just rather not associate with somebody who’s on the extreme and being so selfish.”

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.