Newcastle vs Aston Villa, scheduled for Friday, has become the first Premier League match to be postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak since EPL returns in June.
AllNews understands that several Newcastle players and staff have tested positive for COVID-19, leading the club to shut their training ground.
Following a Premier League Board meeting today, Newcastle United’s fixture at Aston Villa, due to be played at 20:00 GMT Friday 4 December, has been postponed— Premier League (@premierleague) December 1, 2020
Full statement: https://t.co/ehtPV0pjZ3 pic.twitter.com/SnMQfx18zJ
"Newcastle lodged a request with the Premier League to rearrange the game following a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the club, which resulted in Public Health England North East advising that their training facilities remain closed," the Premier League said in a statement.
"The Premier League Board agreed, as a consequence, that the club is unable to train and adequately and safely prepare for their match on Friday."
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce had already canceled training on Sunday after four players and a member of the backroom staff tested positive for the virus last week.
Bruce was already without five first-team players for last Friday's 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
In a statement, Newcastle said: "Several Newcastle United players and staff members are now self-isolating at home after returning positive test results in recent days and the club's training center site has been temporarily closed in order to contain the spread of the virus."
❌ #NUFC's fixture at Aston Villa on Friday has been postponed following a significant increase in Covid-19 cases at the Magpies’ Training Centre.
A new date and time for the game will be confirmed in due course.— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) December 1, 2020
"Aston Villa can confirm that the club fully supports the Premier League's decision to postpone our fixture with Newcastle United on Friday following a significant Covid outbreak at the Tyneside club and the shutdown of their training ground by Public Health England," Villa said in a statement.
"Everybody at Aston Villa wishes a speedy recovery to all those Newcastle United FC affected by the virus."
With Aston Villa nor Newcastle involved in European football - meaning there is plenty of space in the calendar for the match to be rescheduled despite a shortened season.
The city of Newcastle will enter the most severe restriction band when the latest national lockdown in England ends on Wednesday.