Eric Clapton has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, he has been forced to cancel multiple upcoming concerts. As PEOPLE noted, Clapton's positive test result comes after he has been largely critical of the pandemic and vaccine protocols.
Clapton's team released a statement on Facebook to announce the news. In their statement, they shared that the musician's tour stops in Zurich and Milan would need to be postponed. The message began, "Eric Clapton is unfortunately suffering from Covid having tested positive shortly after the second concert at the Royal Albert Hall. 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." They continued to express that Clapton is "anxious" that he could spread the illness to other members of his team.
"So, after intensive internal discussion, it has been decided with great regret and apologies to all those concerned to postpone the performances in Zurich on 17th May and Milan on 18th May, the present hope being to be able to resume the tour starting with the concerts in Bologna on 20th and 21st May," the statement continued. It ended by stating that it is "frustrating" that Clapton tested positive for COVID-19 despite having avoided contracting the illness during the lockdown and when there were travel restrictions in place. Clapton's team will provide further information about the rescheduled dates soon.
In the past, Clapton has been critical of the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed skepticism over the vaccine. He appeared in a song that Van Morrison wrote, "Stand and Deliver," in December 2020, which contained lyrics critical of the lockdown. The musician later received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine but claimed that he was experiencing side effects. It should be noted that the CDC has recommended that everyone 5 years and older take the vaccine. The organization also found through clinical trials that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing mild COVID-19 symptoms.
"My career had almost gone anyway. At the point where I spoke up, it had been almost 18 months since I had kind of been forcibly retired," Clapton told Real Music Observer in January about working with Morrison on "Stand and Deliver." "And I joined forces with Van. I got the tip that Van was standing up to the measures. And I thought, 'Why isn't anybody else doing this?' And we go back; I've known him since we were kids. And I contacted him. I said, 'What do you think? What's going on?' And he said, 'I'm just objecting, really. But it seems like we're not even allowed to do that. And nobody else is doing it.' And I said, 'You're kidding. Nobody else?'"