Aston Villa vs Newcastle off: Coronavirus outbreak forces Premier League postponement

Aston Villa’s home fixture against Newcastle this Friday has been postponed after a coronavirus outbreak in the Magpies’ squad. Reports emerged on Monday evening that several first-team players had tested positive for coronavirus.

More tests were returned positive on Monday, leading to the close of the training ground.

Players have been unable to train since last Thursday, but Newcastle have not as of yet revealed an exact number on how many positive COVID-19 tests have been returned.

Players have now been advised to self isolate at home until further notice.

The game away at Villa will now be postponed until a later date.

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A statement from Newcastle read: “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 centre site has been temporarily closed in order to contain the spread of the virus.

“With the Magpies’ first team currently unable to prepare for the match as a group, Newcastle United lodged a request with the Premier League to postpone the fixture at Villa Park, which has been approved by the Premier League board.

“Newcastle United was one of the first clubs in the country to close its training ground prior to the first national lockdown in March and the club introduced comprehensive Covid-19 protocols in line with Premier League and government guidance to protect its players and staff ahead of Project Restart.

“While the club has continued to ensure strict adherence to these protocols, and despite previously experiencing only a very small number of isolated Covid-19 cases, positive test results have risen sharply in recent days.

“Accordingly, the club is now is working with Public Health England North East (PHE), local health authorities and the Premier League in line with Covid-19 protocols to identify the source of the outbreak and to ensure the risk of further transmission continues to be minimised.

“All players and training ground staff will be re-tested this week and a meeting between the club, Premier League and PHE will take place to assess the test results.

“The club will not be naming individuals who have contracted Covid-19 and asks that their privacy is respected.”

It’s the first time a Premier League game has been postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak since football restarted in the summer.

The self-isolation period is supposed to be 14 days, meaning Newcastle’s games against West Brom and Leeds are also under threat.

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