With the current coronavirus outbreak, Newcastle United are taking safety measures to ensure their players and club members are safe. With 19 cases in the UK reported, there have been growing tensions and fears that all football games may be postponed or canceled.
The Premier League is yet to cancel any matches and has said they don’t have plans to end pre-match handshakes. However, Newcastle has announced on Friday that they have banned their players from shaking hands with one another amid fear of coronavirus. The Magpies are known for their longtime training ground tradition whereby players and staff greet one another by shaking hands every morning.
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce revealed the new ban saying the club has put a stop to their morning ritual due to fears over the spread of the disease increase in the UK. While Arsenal and Tottenham have asked visitors at their training grounds to fill out a health form.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s visit of Burnley, Bruce said: “There’s a ritual here that everybody shakes hands as soon as we see each other every morning we’ve stopped that on the advice of the doctor. Thankfully, we’ve got a superb doctor here and he will keep us informed of what we have to do. 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.”
Speaking on whether anything like it in the past has happened Bruce added: “No, not at all. Look, in confined areas like we’ve got here… There was a time over Christmas when if there’s a virus knocking around – which is not coronavirus – then you have to be careful so we’re a bit mindful of it, the fact that a bug can sweep through. We had four or five at Christmas and two of my staff, so you stay at home, basically. But it’s always something you’re looking at.”
According to multiple reports circulating, in the event the virus spreads and gets worse in the UK, all fixtures results will then be wiped away leading to no title or relegation for the 2019/20 campaign.