Coronavirus Update 06.03.2020
Below is an update issued from the Head of Sport at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The government has published an action plan to contain the possible spread of the virus. This advises:
- That there's presently no rationale to close or cancel sporting events, but this may change as the situation evolves.
- Anyone with flu-like symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering.
- For those hosting sporting events, whatever their size, attendees and participants should stay up to date on the government’s latest advice on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus.
- As the situation progresses we might advise the frail, elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions to stay away from gatherings as part of general advice aimed at minimising unnecessary contact with others.
- For those travelling to sporting events overseas, the Foreign Office’s travel advice should be followed and travellers should note that apart from the countries and territories named in that advice, the government isn't presently advising against travel to anywhere else.
- For those who offer community and leisure services, such as running a local football team or running a gym, hand hygiene should be strongly promoted and encouraged and equipment and facilities should be thoroughly cleaned and wiped down as usual following use. The government is planning to publish specific advice on this shortly.
- There's presently no reason people should stop doing their daily sport and physical activities as they normally would.
These should be our guiding principles. As you are well aware, guidance may change in response to events, so please keep a close eye on Gov.uk.
Many of you are proceeding rapidly with your contingency planning. Some are just beginning that process in earnest. Either way, the following ‘ABC’ may help shape your approach. There should be no presumption that one stage will automatically lead to the next, but it's sensible to think about the different scenarios that may emerge.
A - As you are
Our current state:
- There's no need to cancel or postpone your events at this time.
- Reassure your athletes, stakeholders, and customers, building on the Public Health England principles above.
- Examine your insurance policies to see what cover you may have should the situation evolve.
- Remain mindful of guidance on infection control in the workplace (catchit, kill it, bin it).
- Take sensible steps to discourage staff with flu-like symptoms from coming to work.
- Notify the DCMS sport team if you are contemplating postponing or cancelling events.
B - Behind closed doors
If the government finds it necessary to curb travel or large gatherings of people:
- This is particularly a possible scenario for spectator sports. Consider broadcast options and contractual arrangements, if relevant.
- Be mindful of the FCO advice which may make it more difficult to bring athletes and their teams into the country.
- Examine your supply chain arrangements, particularly for equipment, and explore contingency plans.
- Determine the minimum number of staff required to safely stage an event and how you would ensure their wellbeing and manage logistics.
- Make an assessment of the economic impact of lost revenue and share this analysis with the DCMS sport team, please. A dedicated, regularly monitored coronavirus mailbox is available here.
C - Cancellation, curtailment, or postponement
If the government finds it necessary to impose restrictions which make staging an event or providing a service impossible:
- Consider how you would resolve your remaining fixtures and conclude your competition, workforce health permitting.
- Consider how you would deal with cancelled classes, membership, season tickets etc. Make an assessment of the economic impact of lost revenue and share this analysis with the DCMS sport team, please.
- Please also take every step to help keep our nation active. Being fit and healthy can reduce the risk of infection in the first place. Think creatively about how we can maintain activity levels in such a scenario, looking out for updates from Sport England.
Many thanks for your co-operation.
As we all know, sport and activity play a vital role in maintaining health and wellbeing, and the government hugely values your work, particularly in this uncertain time.