Following Spanish government restrictions on travelers entering the country from England, the match will be staged at the Arena Nationala in the Romanian capital.
The game will still take place on Tuesday, February 23, with the second leg at Stamford Bridge still set for March 17.
The development follows earlier confirmation from UEFA regarding Liverpool’s away trip to RB Leipzig in the competition which will now also be played in Budapest on February 16, while Manchester City will also meet Borussia Monchengladbach in Hungary a week later.
European football’s governing body has now confirmed that Chelsea will have to travel to the Arena Nationala for their first leg tie with Diego Simeone‘s Spanish league leaders.
A Chelsea statement said: “UEFA has confirmed that Chelsea’s Champions League Round of 16 first leg match away against Atletico Madrid will now be played at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest in Romania.
“The date of the match, Tuesday 23 February, and the kick-off (8pm UK time) will remain the same. The second leg at Stamford Bridge is on Wednesday 17 March at 8pm.”
The UK Government has Spain on its ‘red list’ of countries drawn up due to the spread of the coronavirus and this will heavily restrict movement into and out of those nations.
Both legs of Arsenal‘s Europa League last-32 tie against Benfica will also be played in neutral venues in order to satisfy UK coronavirus restrictions, while the first leg of Manchester United’s Europa League tie with Real Sociedad has also been moved from Spain to Juventus Stadium in Italy.