Update 12th March
As the UK moves to the ‘delay’ phase of its plan to tackle Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Football Association is providing daily guidance to the League and it’s clubs.
The latest advice from Government is that there is presently no rationale to close or cancel sporting events, but this may change as the situation evolves.
There is a higher likelihood of severe illness the older you are (not an increased chance of contracting the virus), with those under 25 likely to be unaffected by the disease. However, there is no age-specific guidance at this moment in time.
Sports are asked to keep up to date with and follow Government and Public Health England guidance.
The key issues for hosting a sports event are:
– Public Health England guidance should be read and followed
– For those travelling to sporting events overseas or returning from overseas to sports events, the Foreign Office’s travel advice should be read and followed
– Promote best practice for hygiene, ensuring cleaning is effective and soaps are provided (and sanitiser where possible)
– Anyone with flu symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering
– Clubs are advised that if any spectator presents to a club member of staff with possible flu-like symptoms they should be encouraged to leave, return home and call NHS 111 for further advice
– For those hosting sporting events, whatever their size, attendees and participants should stay up to date on the government’s latest advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus
As a League we will be following instructions from the FA and waiting on guidance from them on how to deal with issues that arise as a result of the virus.
Last week we followed the lead set by the Premier League, and decided that the pre-match handshakes between both teams and officials would not take place until further notice because of fears over the spread of coronavirus.
The teams will still line up as usual but the home team will walk past the away side without shaking hands.
This is to be implemented with immediate effect.
There is currently a public information campaign, which advises people to:
• Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
• Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
• Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
• Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
• Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
• Not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
All Clubs and supporters are encouraged to stay up to date on the government’s latest advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus, which is available here