Coronavirus: Ball boys and girls to wear gloves at Indian Wells in response to virus

March 6, 2020
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    Rafael Nadal

    Rafael Nadal (right) and world number ones Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty are set to compete at Indian Wells

    Ball boys and girls will wear gloves, and will not be required to touch players’ towels, at Indian Wells because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    Player and fan interaction will be limited and 250 hand sanitising stations have also been installed.

    Spectators who have already bought tickets, but are now be having second thoughts, can request a refund.

    Qualifying for the prestigious ATP and WTA tournament begins on Monday in California.

    The state recently declared a state of emergency after a 71-year-old man died from the virus.

    In the UK, sports governing bodies and broadcasters have been called to a government meeting on Monday to discuss the staging of events behind closed doors if the outbreak worsens and mass gatherings are banned.

    One person has died in Britain from the virus so far and more than 160 people have tested positive.

    Italy has ordered all major sporting events throughout the country to be played without fans for one month in a bid to curb Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak, while the upcoming Italy v England Six Nations match in Rome has been postponed.

    The Premier League and EFL said pre-match handshakes between both teams and officials will not take place until further notice because of fears over the spread of coronavirus.

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