The club has taken note of Government, FA and league advice in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) ahead of Saturday’s game against FC United of Manchester at Mariners Park.

The BetVictor Northern Premier Division announced on Friday that all fixtures would take place as planned this weekend.

Proactive steps are being taken across the country in a bid to prevent the illness spreading.

South Shields Football Club is committed to adhering to whichever protocol is laid out, but we all have a role to play in limiting the spread of the illness.

Personal hygiene is key.

Several posters issuing advice on the coronavirus have been placed around Mariners Park ahead of Saturday’s match and they explain how serious the illness is and how likely you are to catch it.

Supporters are asked to follow the below guidance.

  • Wash hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gels if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straightaway and wash your hands afterwards – catch it, bin it, kill it
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are showing symptoms of coronavirus
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • There is a higher likelihood of severe illness the older you are (not an increased chance of contracting the virus), with those under 25 likely to be unaffected by the disease. However, there is no age-specific guidance at this moment in time.

Sports are asked to keep up to date with and follow Government and Public Health England guidance.

The key issues for hosting a sports event are:

  • PHE guidance should be read and followed
  • For those travelling to sporting events overseas or returning from overseas to sports events, the Foreign Office’s travel advice should be read and followed
  • Promote best practice for hygiene, ensuring cleaning is effective and soaps are provided (and sanitiser where possible)
  • Anyone with flu symptoms should avoid the risk of spreading their infection, whatever that infection may be, by staying at home and recovering
  • Clubs are advised that if any spectator presents to a club member of staff with possible flu-like symptoms they should be encouraged to leave, return home and call NHS 111 for further advice
  • 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

Those who feel unwell, as per Government advice released on Thursday, should self-isolate.

The Government has moved to the delay phase of its plan to tackle coronavirus and those with a “new, continuous” cough or high temperature are being advised to self-isolate for seven days.

Any supporter who is feeling unwell – particularly those with flu-type symptoms – is asked not to attend games.

The club will continue to monitor the national and local situation as further advice is issued in the coming days and weeks.

Please do what you can to assist us with this. After all, health is much more important than sport.