Liverpool and Everton matches back behind closed doors after change in coronavirus restrictions

Fans will no longer be allowed into Liverpool's Anfield stadium or Everton's Goodison Park

Everton and Liverpool will have to host home games behind closed doors again after the region was placed into Tier 3 of Britain's Covid-19 restrictions on Wednesday.

Both Merseyside clubs were allowed to welcome back 2,000 fans earlier this month after they fell into areas initially classified as Tier 2 or high alert regions when a month-long national lockdown was lifted.

But the British government said on Wednesday that the Liverpool City Region would move up to Tier 3 from Thursday as a new variant of the virus is spreading across the country.

This means fans will no longer be allowed into Liverpool's Anfield stadium or Everton's Goodison Park.

The two grounds had been the only Premier League stadiums permitted to welcome back fans under Tier 2 restrictions.

Under Tier 3 restrictions, all professional sporting events will be played behind closed doors until further notice.

"This includes Friday's visit of West Ham and the club's FA Cup third-round tie with Rotherham United on Saturday, 9 January," Everton said in a statement.

Rivals Liverpool will also not be allowed to host fans at Anfield, though their next home game is not until January 17 against Manchester United in the Premier League.