Premier League COVID-19 crisis grows as Burnley-Watford called off

The Premier League's COVID-19 crisis continues as Burnley's match against Watford on Wednesday has been the latest fixture to be postponed.

Burnley were set to host Watford but confirmed hours before kickoff that the game was called off due to a COVID-19 outbreak within Claudio Ranieri's squad.

The news comes after Tottenham's clash against Brighton and Manchester United's game at Brentford were called off due to COVID-19 outbreaks over the last couple of days.

Burnley released a statement which read: "It is with regret the Premier League Board has postponed Burnleys home fixture against Watford, due to be played this evening [Wednesday Dec. 15] at 7.30 p.m GMT.

"The decision was taken following guidance from medical advisers due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak within Watford's squad. As a result, the club has an insufficient number of first team players available to fulfil the match.

"The Premier League understands this decision will disappoint and frustrate fans who were due to attend this evening's game and apologises for the inconvenience and disruption caused at such short notice.

"In considering any application to postpone, the Board considers a range of sporting and medical factors. Each decision is taken on a case-by-case basis with everyone's health of utmost importance."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Premier League announced new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, which include fans having to show a COVID status declaration prior to matchday as well as proof of a vaccination or a negative test result. The league also said masks would be mandatory while moving inside stadiums but would be optional when sat down during the game.

The statement added: "In light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, the Premier League has reintroduced Emergency Measures. These include protocols such as more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing and limiting treatment time."