Liverpool and Everton fans will not be able to attend games at Anfield and Goodison Park after the city has been placed at level 3.
The clubs were the only two in the Premier League to admit fans following changes to the tier’s rules, but will now have to play all of their games behind closed doors until further notice after the latest government update.
The city of Liverpool had been at level 2 of the coronavirus restrictions since December 2.
In his presentation on Wednesday afternoon, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said three-quarters of the country would be at Level 3 or 4 by Thursday morning.
He said: “Even in most areas that are not upgrading to level 4, cases are also increasing, and therefore there is a need to apply level 3 measures more widely also – including in Liverpool and Yorkshire. North. The rest of Yorkshire remains at level 3. These changes will take effect at 12:01 am tomorrow morning. “
Liverpool Metropolitan Area Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Although our region is leading many medical developments in the fight against Covid, we have seen transmission rates increase recently in every part of the region. our city, which has led to a worrying increase in cases.
“At the same time, cases have increased at alarming rates across the rest of the country, threatening to push our NHS to its limits.
“Being placed at level 3 today is something neither of us wanted, but I hope these new measures will help slow down and quickly contain the spread of the virus.”
The Premier League is not discussing the possibility of a blackout to interrupt the season amid an increase in coronavirus cases in the game.
Neither club has presented the proposal to the league, although West Brom boss Sam Allardyce has called for a campaign hiatus to try to reduce the number of cases.
“When I listen to the news, the variant of the virus spreads faster than the original virus [so] we can only do the right thing is take a break, ”Allardyce said after his side’s 5-0 loss to Leeds.
However, his Manchester United counterpart, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, questioned the logistical implications of ending the already crowded season if the campaign were to be cut short.
“I don’t see the benefit of having a blackout, whatever the name is,” Solskjaer said.
“Because when are we going to play the games? We all know this year is so difficult, but I don’t think the stoppage of games is going to make a big, big change.”
The English Football League will carry out full-scale coronavirus testing with all 72 clubs next week.
The measure, expected ahead of the increase in the number of cases across the country this week, will see a full set of mandatory tests rolled out from January 4.
More than 40 games were called off in the EFL last month due to coronavirus circumstances, with nine more games postponed Tuesday night.
The EFL, unlike the Premier League, does not test its players regularly but relies on them to report symptoms and on contract tracing.