LONDON: There will be no immediate move in the UK to follow the examples of France, Italy and Switzerland and order major sports to continue in closed venues.
However a summit between representatives of government, national sports bodies and broadcasters were left in no doubt that planning for such an eventuality should be considered.
These conclusions emerged from the meeting hosted in London by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to discuss the preferred responses if the coronavirus outbreak worsens. Three people have died in the UK so far.
Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney said: “The basic message is ‘let’s not panic. Clearly it is a moving situation so just keep talking and go from there.”
Last week, the Premier League and Football League prohibited pre-match handshakes between players and officials came after the government asked the Premier League “to step up its contingency planning”.
Several clubs also instructed players not to sign autographs or take selfies with fans.
A DCMS statement said the meeting included discussions of how staging sporting events behind closed doors “could work in practice” if the situation deteriorated. Wales’ home Six Nations match against Scotland will be played as planned in Cardiff this weekend.