Newcastle’s match at Aston Villa becomes first Premier League game POSTPONED due to a local Covid-19 outbreak, with fears that MORE players have the virus after five positive tests for the North East club
- There has been a coronavirus outbreak within the Newcastle United squad
- Their game against Aston Villa on Friday evening has since been called off
- It is thought going to Villa Park could increase Newcastle’s number of infections
- The Magpies cancelled training and have closed the club’s Benton headquarters
Newcastle United’s trip to Aston Villa on Friday has become the first Premier League fixture to be postponed because of a Covid-19 outbreak after positive cases reached double figures.
The Magpies will wait for more tests results before holding a meeting with the Premier League and Public Health England to assess when they can return to training.
Their next game is at home to West Brom a week on Saturday and that could yet be in doubt should the number of infected players continue to rise in the coming days.
Newcastle’s Premier League game against Aston Villa has been postponed due to Covid-19
Newcastle were unable to train on Monday after a coronavirus outbreak in their camp
Newcastle confirmed on Tuesday that their request for the Villa game to be postponed had been granted by the Premier League.
MailOnline broke the news on Monday evening that the fixture was in doubt after a planned training session earlier that day was scrapped and the training ground closed following an increase in cases.
Club sources suspect the virus entered their bubble first via a staff member and then from a player returning from international duty.
We understand the club had severe concerns that the spread of the infection would become worse should they travel to and from Birmingham and stay overnight. They were due to fly on Thursday.
There were fears that going to Villa Park will increase the amount of infections in the squad
Villa (seen against Newcastle in June 2020) said they supported the decision to postpone
There was the fear that some individuals who tested negative this week could have travelled with the group only to later test positive, as is suspected happened during last Friday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
Steve Bruce confirmed before the 2-0 win at Selhurst Park that three individuals had contracted the virus, but that number had jumped to five by Sunday with the club then confirming a ‘significant’ rise on Tuesday.
Newcastle’s players have been told to stay away from the training ground until Friday at the earliest. They have not trained since last Thursday and the Premier League took that into consideration.
Not all players and staff are self-isolating – only those who have tested positive or have been deemed close contacts – and they have been warned not to discuss the matter between themselves.
Travelling to Villa Park and staying overnight reportedly raised concerns in Newcastle’s group
Tuesday’s club statement added: ‘While club has continued to ensure strict adherence to (Covid-19) 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 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.’