Coronavirus rules have been sent to football clubs by the PFA, including a ban on food in the dressing room.
The disease has already had an impact on sporting events, postponing Manchester City and Arsenal’sPremier League clash.
While Manchester United and Wolves are set to play their Europa League clashes behind closed doors on Thursday.
Players have been sent into quarantine to combat the flu-like virus.
But the Players Football Association has released new guidelines to clubs in order to reduce any chances of catching COVID-19.
The rules, which emerged on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon, demand extreme cleanliness – especially in the dressing room.
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“Avoid eating in the changing room,” one reads.
“Keep your personal items and clothes in your bag and avoid leaving them exposed in the changing rooms.”
Handshakes have also been banned, something which is believed to have caused the delay to the Gunners’ game.
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The PFA’s full guidelines for players and staff read:
- Do not drink from the same water bottle during the game or training, but always use a personalised water bottle and do not exchange other items (towels, bathrobes, etc.) with other players.
- Avoid eating food in the changing room.
- Keep your personal items and clothes in your bag and avoid leaving them exposed in the changing rooms or the communal baskets.
- Throw used tissues or other used materials like plasters, bandages etc. immediately into the appropriate lockable containers.
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- Wash your hands thoroughly as often as possible: hand washing and disinfection are essential to prevent infection. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and then dry them with a disposable towel after rinsing them thoroughly; if soap and water are not available, you can also use a hand disinfectant.
- When using ordinary toilets, you should not touch the tap before and after washing your hands, but use disposable towels to open and close the tap.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- If you have to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue – preferably disposable – or with your arm, but not with your hand.
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- Players who show obvious symptoms of respiratory infection and/or fever before, during or after training must immediately leave the rest of the team – and isolate themselves if possible – and inform the club's doctor.
- If the symptoms appear outside a training session, the player should stop avoid all contact and meetings with other team players and, if possible, isolate themselves. Players should contact their club doctor by telephone, and can also call the NHS 111 coronavirus service. To protect yourself and others, do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital.
- If a player has been in any contact – either personally or within their family – with persons who have returned from risk areas, or quarantine, they must inform the team players and the club officials immediately.
- If you have been in a risk area yourself, you must inform other players and club officials immediately.
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