Liverpool and Everton will have to host home games behind closed doors again after the Liverpool City Region was placed into Tier 3 of Britain's COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday, both Premier League clubs said.
While league leaders Liverpool play their next three games on the road, including an FA Cup tie at Aston Villa, the club said their next game at Anfield against title rivals Manchester United on Jan. 17 will now be held without spectators.
Everton will not be allowed to welcome fans on Friday when they host West Ham United, while their FA Cup third-round tie with Rotherham United on Jan. 9 will also be behind closed doors.
Both Merseyside clubs were among the few top-flight teams that were allowed to welcome back 2,000 fans earlier this month after they fell into areas initially classified as Tier 2 or high alert regions when a month-long national lockdown was lifted.
But the British government said on Wednesday that the Liverpool City Region would move up to Tier 3 from 0001 GMT on Thursday as a new variant of the virus is spreading across the country.
Under Tier 3 restrictions, all professional sporting events will be played behind closed doors until further notice.