Premier League clubs in Liverpool and London will be able to welcome some supporters back into their stadiums after the Government announced which tiers different areas of the country will be in after the end of the second lockdown.
A long list of Premier League clubs, including Manchester City, Manchester United, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Leicester will be unable to have fans back in person, however.
Supporters of Burnley, Leeds, Sheffield United, West Brom and Wolves will also have to wait longer before any of them can cheer their teams on inside their grounds.
Greater Manchester is among the areas that will remain in Tier 3 – classified as ‘Very High’ risk and the only tier which does not allow any fans to attend matches – when the new regulations come into effect on December 2.
Merseyside has dropped down to Tier 2, though, meaning reigning champions Liverpool and Everton can welcome back 2,000 supporters into their stadiums, as long as they continue to follow strict COVID-19 safety measures.
Four more of next week’s Premier League fixtures – Spurs vs Arsenal, West Ham vs Manchester United, Chelsea vs Leeds and Brighton vs Southampton – will also have a strictly limited number of fans in attendance.
London has been named as a Tier 2 area, which places it in the ‘High’ risk category.
That means up to 2,000 Arsenal fans will be able to attend the Europa League game with Rapid Vienna at the Emirates on December 3.
A similar figure would be allowed into Twickenham for England’s Autumn Nations Cup game against an as yet unknown opponent on December 6.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the details in a statement to the Commons on Thursday, with a further review of the tier ratings to be made on December 16, although the new proposals will go before MPs on December 1.
Responding to the news, Manchester United said in a statement: “Manchester United notes the government decision to keep Trafford in the Tier 3 category of COVID-19 restrictions. This means games at Old Trafford will continue to take place behind closed doors until further notice.
“Our plans for safely welcoming back fans to Old Trafford are well advanced and we look forward to doing so as soon as we are given the go ahead. We will continue to work with local authorities on finalising our plans so that we can move quickly when our area comes out of Tier 3.
“Some of our forthcoming away games in Tier 2 areas may take place with a limited number of fans in attendance. However, under current guidelines, away fans will not be permitted to attend.
“We thank our fans for their continued patience and will keep them informed of further developments.”
Everton also confirmed they are already beginning their preparations for the safe return of fans to Goodison Park for the game against Chelsea next month.
“Everton is progressing discussions with local and national authorities in preparation for the phased return of supporters to Goodison Park after the UK Government confirmed Liverpool City Region will enter Tier Two local restrictions following the end of the national lockdown on 2 December,” they said in a statement on their website.
“The club is undertaking a series of discussions with the Premier League and both local and national authorities to ensure the necessary safety measures and guidelines are in place for the return of fans. The first Goodison Park fixture fans will be able to attend will be the visit of Chelsea on 12 December.”