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Government issues coronavirus advice for sports

March 4th 2020
Sarah Booth

The Government has published an action plan to contain the possible spread of the virus.

The latest DCMS guidance advises:

  • That there’s presently no rationale to close or cancel sporting events, but this may change as the situation evolves.
  • Anyone with flu-like symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering.
  • 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 the situation progresses we might advise the frail, elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions to stay away from gatherings as part of general advice aimed at minimising unnecessary contact with others.
  • For those travelling to sporting events overseas, the Foreign Office’s travel advice should be followed and travellers should note that apart from the countries and territories named in that advice, the government isn’t presently advising against travel to anywhere else.
  • For those who offer community and leisure services, such as running a local football team or running a gym, hand hygiene should be strongly promoted and encouraged and equipment and facilities should be thoroughly cleaned and wiped down as usual following use.

The government is planning to publish specific advice on this shortly. There’s presently no reason people should stop doing their daily sport and physical activities as they normally would. These should be our guiding principles.

As you are well aware, guidance may change in response to events, so please keep a close eye on Gov.uk.

Things you can do now to minimise risk:

  • Excellent hand washing regularly through the day plus the use of hand-based gel / foam. Normal soap is incredibly effective in destroying the cell membrane of the virus and killing it immediately. In fact, it reduces risk by 54% if you do it regularly and do it well. Dry hands thoroughly afterwards with either disposable paper towels or a hand drier.
  • Regular cleaning of common surfaces (door handles, equipment) with normal soap-based detergents, and avoid touching too many public surfaces if you can.
  • Ensure you’re healthy and well. Eat well / sleep well – keep your immune system in top shape.
  • Risk avoidance – be mindful of public spaces e.g. supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls etc. and avoid people who are coughing / sneezing.
  • Isolation of cases – anyone with respiratory symptoms (dry cough, fatigue, sore throat) and a temperature should self-isolate and contact NHS Direct on 111.

If you are unwell in the UK:

  1. DO NOT go to your health centre, Institute facility or hospital but call NHS direct or NHS 24 on 111 for further advice.

If you are unwell whilst abroad:

  1. Be aware that the status of where you are travelling to may change while you are there. This could impact on your travel back to the UK.
  2. Be aware of how to access medical care abroad. You may be asked to remain where you are and the local healthcare team will come to you to assess your symptoms.

Useful links to regularly updated advice:

World Health Organisation YouTube video: https://youtu.be/mOV1aBVYKGA

Department of Health ( UK Government ) will be updated at 2pm daily via https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

World Health Organisation situation report ( updates )

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

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