Eric Clapton announced the postponement of two dates on his current European tour after testing positive for COVID-19. The rock legend — who has repeatedly railed against COVID lockdown measures and vaccines — announced on Monday (May 16) that he tested positive after playing the second date of a two-night stand at London’s Royal Albert Hall on May 8 that served as the kick-off of his current European tour.
“Eric Clapton is unfortunately suffering from Covid having tested positive shortly after the second concert at the Royal Albert Hall,” read a statement from Clapton about the outing that was originally scheduled for summer 2020, pushed to spring 2021 and then rescheduled a third time to spring 2022 due to the global pandemic that has killed more than 6.2 million to date. “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. Eric is also anxious to avoid passing on any infection to any of his band, crew, promoters, their staff and of course, the fans.”
More from Billboard
As a result, planned dates in Zurich at the Hallenstadion on Tuesday (May 17) and Milan’s Mediolanum Forum on Wednesday (May 17) have been postponed with plans to resume the tour with two shows in Bologna on May 20 and 21; the statement said that the scotched dates will be rescheduled within the next six months.
“It is very frustrating 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,” the statement continued.
In 2021, Clapton, 77, teamed up with fellow lockdown opponent Van Morrison for the anti-lockdown screed “Stand and Deliver,” as well as releasing his own similar take, “This Has Gotta Stop.” Clapton also refused to play shows that required proof of vaccination and earlier this year appeared to embrace a controversial, widely debunked theory claiming that secret messages are allegedly being hidden inside YouTube videos with the goal of driving mass compliance with COVID precautions.
Clapton has also claimed that he suffered from severe nerve damage to his fingers as a result of taking the AstraZeneca vaccine, and was so sick he could not play his guitar for months.