The Premier League has confirmed that kick-off times for Monday’s fixtures have been moved due to the government’s new coronavirus guidelines.
Due to a recent spike in Covid-19 cases in the country, the British government this week announced a range of more stringent measures to tackle the spread of the disease.
Among them is the closure of pubs and restaurants at 10pm at the latest each evening.
With fans not currently allowed to attend sporting events – and their planned 1 October return delayed as part of the government’s announcement this week – many supporters will visit pubs in order to view football matches on Sky Sports and BT Sport.
However, Liverpool’s hosting of Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday 28 September would have run past the 10pm curfew, leading the league to move the 8.15pm kick-off to a new time of 8pm.
The early kick-off that evening, Fulham vs Aston Villa, has thus also been moved. Previously scheduled for 6pm, that game will not start at 5.45pm.
Both fixtures will be airing live on Sky.
A statement released by the Premier League on Wednesday read: “Following the Government’s announcement yesterday that pubs will close at 22:00, Fulham will now host Aston Villa at 17:45 and Liverpool will face Arsenal at 20:00. Both of these matches will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the new measures could be in place for as long as six months, meaning crowds might not be present at sporting events until March.