Coronavirus outbreak: Newcastle ban handshakes at training ground

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February 28, 2020
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    A general shot of Newcastle players training at the club's training ground

    A number of sporting events have been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak

    Newcastle have introduced a training ground handshake ban because of coronavirus, says manager Steve Bruce.

    More than 80,000 people have been infected by the virus worldwide, resulting in nearly 2,800 deaths.

    “There’s a ritual that everybody shakes hands when we see each other every morning – we’ve stopped that on the advice of the doctor,” said Bruce.

    “Thankfully, we’ve got a superb doctor here and he will keep us informed of what we have to do.”

    Bruce added: “We’re like everybody else, we’re glued to the TV for where it’s going to go next and let’s hope it doesn’t get any worse in this country.”

    Major sporting events, including Six Nations rugby and the Chinese Grand Prix, have been postponed because of the virus, which originated in China but has since spread to more than 50 countries.

    Three more cases of the virus were confirmed in the UK on Friday, bringing the total number in the country to 19.

    The Premier League says clubs are following the same NHS and government advice issued to all businesses and venues which are used by large numbers of people.

    There is currently no suggestion or guidance to take any additional measures, though the body says clubs are free to do so where deemed necessary.

    Arsenal have introduced extra checks for media attending Saturday’s news conference at the club’s training ground, while Everton have contacted all staff informing them of the latest government guidelines.

    Spanish La Liga side Valencia have cancelled “all meetings or public gatherings in enclosed spaces that present risk to players, coaching staff and club staff” after the first confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city.

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    A number of football matches in Italy have already been postponed or ordered to be played behind closed doors following an outbreak of the virus in the north of the country.

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    February 28, 2020
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