Eric Clapton has been forced to postpone two of his upcoming shows after testing positive for COVID-19.
The guitarist kicked off his latest UK and European tour earlier this month with a pair of shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
However, Clapton has now announced that he is rescheduling his planned dates in Zurich, Switzerland and Milan, Italy, which had been set to take place tonight (May 17) and tomorrow (May 18), after he contracted COVID following the second Albert Hall gig.
“Eric Clapton is unfortunately suffering from COVID having tested positive shortly after the second concert at the Royal Albert Hall,” a statement on Clapton’s website reads. “He has been told by his medical advisors that if he were to resume travelling 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.”
Clapton’s website adds that the Zurich and Milan gigs will be rescheduled “within the next six months”, with “the present hope being to be able to resume the tour starting with the concerts in Bologna on May 20 and 21”.
“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 adds.
Clapton has been outspoken in both interviews and his recent songs about lockdown restrictions and COVID vaccines, saying back in January that he wasn’t “concerned with being misunderstood”.
Last summer, the musician said he would not perform concerts that require proof of vaccination – although he did play at such a show in September. He has also teamed up with Van Morrison and shared his own songs that criticise pandemic safety measures, including August’s ‘This Has Gotta Stop’.
Back in March, The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards gave his view on Clapton’s controversial stance on the pandemic.