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

Both Merseyside clubs were among the few top-flight teams that 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.

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But the British government said on Wednesday that the Liverpool City Region would move up to Tier 3 from 00:01 GMT on Thursday as a new variant of the coronavirus is spreading across the country.

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 United and the Club's FA Cup third-round tie with Rotherham United on Saturday, 9 January," Everton said in a statement.

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