Eric Clapton, who has railed against lockdowns and vaccines, has tested positive for COVID-19.
The 77-year-old English singer has canceled two upcoming concerts, Tuesday in Zurich and Wednesday in Milan, after being diagnosed, his team announced Tuesday.
“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,” his team said in a statement.
The decision to cancel shows is in part to avoid infecting his band, crew, promoters, staff or audience.
The two concerts are expected to be rescheduled and Clapton hopes to get back out on the road by Friday, when he’s due in Bologna, Italy.
The “Layla” singer has been loudly outspoken about his disapproval of health measures to protect people from catching COVID-19, vowing not to perform at venues requiring fans to show proof of vaccination; he has since broken that promise.
He joined in with Van Morrison on “Stand and Deliver,” an anti-lockdown song that compared people willingly staying home to slaves, then released his own version with the same message, “This Has Gotta Stop,” and in January, began spreading a conspiracy theory that people getting vaccines were under a mass psychosis and hypnosis.
“I’m cut from the cloth where if you tell me I can’t do something, I really wanna know why I can’t do it,” he said on a YouTube video for Real Music Observer, which has similarly disavowed vaccines. “And it seemed like I’d had a wall built around me. But I thought, ‘I’m gonna do this.’”
Clapton is vaccinated, but has claimed that his Astra-Zeneca shot caused nerve damage.