Premier League stops pre-match handshakes

The Premier League has announced that the pre-match handshakes between both teams and officials will not take place until further notice due to fears over the spread of coronavirus.

Premier League stops pre-match handshakes

The Premier League has announced that the pre-match handshakes between both teams and officials will not take place until further notice due to fears over the spread of coronavirus.

The measure comes the day after the British government asked the league “to step up its contingency planning”.

The teams will still line up as usual but the home team will walk past the away side without shaking hands.

There have been more than 98,000 cases of the virus in 88 countries.

A statement on the Premier League’s website said: “The Premier League fair-play handshake will not take place between players and match officials from this weekend until further notice based on medical advice.

“Coronavirus is spread via droplets from the nose and mouth and can be transmitted on to the hands and passed on via a handshake.”

Liverpool have decided not to use on-pitch mascots as part of their response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The move is one of a series adopted by the runaway Premier League leaders as sport continues to react to the developing global situation.

In addition, club employees will not travel to high-risk countries, while the attention of staff and supporters is being drawn to the increased need for good personal hygiene.

A statement on the club’s website said: “In recent weeks, there has been a rise of confirmed Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) cases around the world.

“We have several new measures in place across LFC operations to help prevent the spread of the virus and protect the health of our employees.

“We have taken proactive measures, including cancelling any staff travel to high-risk countries and reminding everyone of good hygiene practices through notices in/around all our sites.

“We have also activated a health questionnaire screening for all external visitors to all our training facilities, our office locations and other community facilities that we use regularly.

“For supporters planning on attending Anfield, there will be hand sanitisers and/or antibacterial handwash in all the washrooms at Anfield as well as additional information posters reinforcing the official medical advice for everyone to take personal responsibility for excellent personal hygiene.

“We are also taking matchday precautionary measures and will not have any mascots on the pitch. Any supporter displaying symptoms that are consistent with the virus should ensure they familiarise themselves with the chief medical officer’s advice on self-isolation.

“We will continue to take the best advice from the relevant authorities and will update supporters with any further developments.”

Meanwhile, Cardiff could abandon a planned pre-season trip to Portugal this summer because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Bluebirds boss Neil Harris wants to take his players away before the start of next season, but those plans have been put on hold due to the spread of the virus.

“We’ve identified going to Portugal to a resort I know well,” Harris said.

“It has a training complex and hospitality-wise it’s also good for fans to travel to.

“I like to involve fans in pre-season and get everyone together, but we’ve had to put it onto the backburner as we’ve got to think of health and safety.”

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department - if this is not possible, phone 112 or 999 and in a medical emergency (if you have severe symptoms) phone 112 or 999

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