Scotland v France: public health measures announced to minimise threat of coronavirus

Scottish Rugby and the Scottish Government have worked together to mitigate threat at Murrayfield, Scotstoun and Netherdale

Scotland host France at Murrayfield on Saturday. Image: ©Fotosport/David Gibson
Scotland host France at Murrayfield on Saturday. Image: ©Fotosport/David GibsonScotland v France, Six Nations Championship, BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Scotland, Sunday 11th February 2018 ***Please credit: ©Fotosport/David Gibson***

SCOTTISH RUGBY, working with the Scottish Government, have announced a major public health initiative aimed at minimising the threat presented by the spread of coronavirus at this weekend’s Men’s, Women’s and Under-20s Six Nations matches against France.

A wide range of measures will be implemented at Murrayfield, Scotstoun and Netherdale stadiums including:

  • Circulating good hygiene information and NHS Scotland guidance to all spectators, players, officials, staff, volunteers, agencies, contractors, media, sponsors and guests. All information to be translated into French.
  • Medical staff on hand within the stadium grounds to speak to any spectators who have concerns over their health.
  • Hand sanitisers to be distributed throughout Murrayfield, Scotstoun and Netherdale.
  • A primary care facility to be established at all stadiums with First Aid practitioners should someone present to staff with symptoms.

Dominic McKay, Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We have been working closely with the Scottish Government and can confirm that the Six Nations Scotland v France men’s, women’s and U20 matches remain scheduled to be played this weekend.

“Scottish Rugby continues to work extremely closely with the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland in monitoring the Coronavirus situation. We are also in regular and constant dialogue with the Six Nations and our fellow Unions.

“We have, and continue to, promote NHS Scotland hygiene advice and protocols with our staff, supporters and visitors to all rugby stadiums. We look forward to welcoming supporters to our events this weekend. Should matters and advice change we will provide a further update.”

Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “Our overriding consideration when making decisions on whether major sporting events and other public gatherings should go ahead is the health of the people in Scotland and those visiting from elsewhere.

“Our advice is based on the latest scientific understanding of coronavirus. Health Protection Scotland has looked at all the available evidence, including the situation in the UK and France, and has concluded that there is no scientific reason for cancelling Scotland’s Six Nations fixtures at the weekend.

“The Scottish Rugby team players and support staff have been working closely with us to ensure there is the strongest possible focus on protecting public health at the event and that key messages on how to prevent the spread of infection are widely promoted.

“We all have a key role to play in preventing the spread of infection by maintaining good hand hygiene, not touching your face, avoiding direct contact with people who have a cold or the flu as well as covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with tissues and disposing of them in the nearest bin after use. This will be promoted both in the stadium and on transport to and from the game.

“Anyone who thinks they may have contracted the virus or been exposed to it should not attend the match and should follow the advice on NHS Inform.”


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About David Barnes 3040 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

9 Comments

  1. The coronavirus is very good news for Townsend. The 6N will not be completed so the standings will be meaningless (although Scotland will probably cling to second bottom). So lack of failure will be deemed to be success.
    It’s an ill wind that blows no one any good.

  2. A totally irresponsible decision. A stadium tightly packed with people who are shouting and singing is an ideal environment for the transmission of COVID-19.

    The only way that this match should go ahead is behind closed doors.

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  3. After many weeks of pre-advertising the Super 6 match between Heriot’s and Ayr, why is TOL still doing so 4 days after it was played?

  4. Hand sanitisers are going to be really useful in the scrums and mauls. “Could you hang on a sec s’il vous plait whilst I do my hands”?

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