THESE are the current Government-issued guidelines that all sports clubs and gyms should be following in the bid to contain the possible spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Current advice for the sports sector, in an action plan laid out by the Government yesterday, includes:

"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"

Further advice contained in the action plan:

- "That there is presently no rationale to close or cancel sporting events, but this may change as the situation evolves"

- "Anyone with flu-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, which is here.

- "As the situation progresses, we might advise the frail, elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions (to be defined) 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 is not presently advising against travel to anywhere else"

- "There is presently no reason people should stop doing their daily sport and physical activities as they normally would"

Advice for players and wider guidance in schools, workplaces etc:

- Greet team mates, friends etc with a fist bump or a wave not a handshake, kiss or hug

- Waves and fist bumps for fans

- Selfies rather than taking items for signing is sensible.

The NHS is keen that professional sports clubs and players, who are role models for young people and adults in their communities, lead the way with the straightforward public messaging about regular hand washing.

Consider whether this could form part of your club’s social media output, tagging in the NHS

What all of us can do to reduce the risk of catching Coronavirus:

- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.

- Put used tissues in the bin straight away.

- Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. See hand washing guidance.

- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Note: All of the above is subject to change and review