The ECB have provided an update on the measures that will be taken during England’s tour of Sri Lanka due to the current coronavirus outbreak around the world, which will include no selfies or autographs for fans.

Chris Silverwood’s side are currently in Sri Lanka preparing for the two-match Test series against their hosts, which begins next Thursday in Galle.

Ahead of the start of the series, the ECB have published a statement that explains the measures the England team and staff will be taking, in addition to offering advice to any supporters joining the tour.

The statement reveals that in accordance with the world health agency’s advice, a number of precautions have been put in place to protect the team and ensure the continuation of the tour.

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A number of normal activities have been canceled for the foreseeable future, while England players and staff have been asked to “avoid unnecessary public engagements and temporarily avoid casual supporter interaction such as selfies or autographs”.

In the statement, the ECB notes: “Whilst we acknowledge that this will be disappointing for some supporters, we stress that this a measure to protect the ongoing wellbeing of the England Test squad and is a decision which has not been taken lightly.”

Additionally, England players and staff have been told to avoid handshakes where a ‘fist bump’ or personal greeting will suffice, which means players will no longer shake hands with their opposition.

Included in the ECB’s statement is a list of best practices for fans traveling to Sri Lanka to ensure they maintain good hygiene and avoid possible infection or spreading of coronavirus.

These include:

  • Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 and other illnesses such as food poisoning and flu.
  • Washing your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap or 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 straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

The ECB concludes: “The team will continue to take guidance from the ECB, Sri Lankan authorities, UK Government agencies and the World Health Organisation, and will update supporters with any further developments.”

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