Manchester United was supposed to play Brentford on Tuesday, but the match won’t go ahead as scheduled because of a COVID-19 outbreak on the United squad.
The Premier League announced its decision through a statement issued late on Monday.
“The decision was taken following guidance from medical advisers due to the exceptional circumstances of an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak within Manchester United’s squad,” the Premier League said in a statement. “First team operations at the club’s Carrington Training Complex were closed down today to help control the outbreak and minimize the risk of further infection among players and staff.”
The postponed match will be played at a date that remains to be announced. In light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, the Premier League has reintroduced its emergency measures. These include protocols such as more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing, and limiting treatment time.
Four Manchester United players were hit by COVID-19 and will need to self-isolate for 10 days. Manchester United was waiting until Tuesday morning to fly to London for the Brentford match, had the match gone ahead. The Red Devils’ match against Brighton on Saturday is also at risk. According to rules currently in place, the Premier League can ask for a match to be played if as few as 14 first-team players are available for selection.
Tottenham, Brighton & Hove, Aston Villa, and several Championship clubs also have active COVID-19 cases on their teams. The Brighton v Tottenham match was postponed over the weekend, with Spurs also needing to call off their Conference League clash against Rennes on Thursday.
Considering the spike in COVID-19 cases around England, fans at Premier League games will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test before entering stadiums to watch football.