NEWCASTLE United fans have been urged to be “very cautious” about attending next week’s clash with Manchester United – if the game goes ahead.

The Premier League’s festive fixture list is still scheduled to continue despite major disruption caused by the spread of the Omicron Covid variant, which led to six top flight matches being postponed last weekend.

The Magpies, who are yet to have any of their matches called off, are due to meet Manchester United at St James’ Park next on December 27, though the Red Devils were forced to close their training ground down last week due to the rise in virus cases.

The Welsh government has announced new restrictions that will see sport at all levels played behind closed doors from Boxing Day, but such measures have not been brought into force in England yet – although fans are now required to show their NHS Covid passport or proof of a negative test to be admitted.

In Scotland, new Covid curbs announced by Nicola Sturgeon mean football matches and other outdoor events will be limited to only 500 spectators from December 26, meaning Boxing Day games will effectively be fan free.

Newcastle’s public health director has pleaded with football fans to “make the most careful decisions they can” about attending next week’s match.

Prof Eugene Milne said:  “People need to make a choice about whether they are vulnerable, about whether they are likely to expose other people to risk by going.

“The Premier League has done a lot of work to try and get in place vaccine passports and testing checks for the games.

“I think one of the things that does trouble me is people travelling to and from games and the difficulties of distancing, mask wearing, and so on.

“I would make a plea to people to use those measures because they can reduce the potential for risk when they are doing that.

“To some extent, we will have to wait and see what happens nationally with these things. We have seen games cancelled because of the number of players affected in the last week or two.

“And I think one of the big risks for us is that, in the same way that games are getting cancelled because players are getting Covid, there is a risk to services and so on from staff getting Covid.

“At the moment, we are asking people, in line with national guidance, to make the most careful decisions they can so that they protect themselves and others.

“Don’t go if you are symptomatic, get tested in advance, get vaccinated and boosted, use the same precautions we have been all the way through.

“If you are in the open air it is safer, but of course, the proximity you have to people is going to make a difference.”