Sporting competitions including the Premier League and the English Football League are currently suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
But plans are on for how they could restart should the government take the decision to relax certain restrictions, with the nation currently in lockdown until 7 May at least.
An epidemiologist Dr Rowland Kao from the University of Edinburgh has said Players wearing face masks during matches and training would be a “sensible precaution” to take to limit the spread of coronavirus.
The EFL has given guidance to its clubs to consider a return to training no earlier than 16 May, and Dr Kao believes that while the effectiveness of masks is still a subject for debate, it may be an idea for sports administrators to consider.
“Masks tend not to protect you but protect others,” he said. “They prevent aerosol spray but leaves open [the risk of] fomite transmission – putting your hand to your mouth or your face and then wiping it somewhere else, like a doorknob.
“It’s unclear how much protection those masks would be, but it would seem sensible to put as many precautions as you could in place. If you have got 300-500 people coming together [for a match behind closed doors], there’s an opportunity for multiple infections to occur.”
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The doctor also said regular testing of all personnel involved in training and the staging of behind-closed-doors matches would be vital, and that health services must be prioritised in the provision of the tests.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago