The Leeds Rhinos player who was tested for the coronavirus has been cleared of having contracted the virus after his test produced a negative result.
On Friday, the Rhinos decided not to travel to Spain for the scheduled Betfred Super League clash against Catalans Dragons, due to be played today behind closed doors at Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan, on medical grounds.
A member of the Leeds Rhinos squad had self-isolated after showing symptoms of possible coronavirus. The player was tested on Friday privately by the club and his result has returned as negative. The player will continue to be managed in line with the current Department of Health guidance, however, and the Rhinos squad will return to full training on Monday in preparation for Friday’s Betfred Super League game against St Helens at Emerald Headingley.
Leeds Rhinos have introduced changes to its day to day business operations and match day protocols and procedures based on the advice of health officials regarding COVID-19.
The changes are designed to protect the health and safety of players and fans and will mean a reduced level of interaction during the week and on matchdays. Whilst the latest government recommendations have advised there is no current risk to people attending mass gatherings, the Rhinos have issued players and staff with a set of guidelines to help reduce the potential spread of the virus.
Among the changes which will be effective immediately:
Players have been advised to minimise contact with the public and non-essential personnel. This includes limiting physical contact with supporters at venues;
Players are advised to avoid handshakes, autographs and selfies to limit the risk of infection;
From Friday 13th March, the ticket office front counter will be closed during ticket office opening hours and any fans who visit the stadium to purchase tickets / ticket related enquiries will need to be directed to the ticket office transfer windows on the inside of the stadium.
The Leeds Rugby Retail Store will remain open as normal however fans are asked to consider if they could order online at leedsrhinosshop.co.uk rather than come into the store during the next few weeks.
The club will restrict dressing room access to include only players and essential staff;
The Rhinos are taking reasonable steps to limit club-organised player contact with community organisations;
All club personnel have been encouraged to cancel all non-essential meetings or arrange to meet digitally
The club and players have taken additional steps to ensure enhanced hygiene at training and playing facilities.
Leeds Rhinos Operations Director Sue Ward commented, “Our priority is the health and safety of everyone who uses Emerald Headingley Stadium, which includes our players, staff and customers. As well as the stadium, at our training ground we will have a strict entry policy to limit the amount of people who have access to minimize as much as possible the amount of people using the facility and the increased chance of spreading the virus. Our medical staff have kept the players and coaches fully briefed on best practise and we will continue to monitor the situation and take our lead from the authorities.
“We are following the guidelines set down by the UK government and will have extra measures in place for the St Helens game, including hand gel available to supporters and signage to remind spectators of the extra precautions they can take to protect themselves, as set down by Public Health England.”