Coronavirus: UK government still considering whether to ban sporting events
By Blake Welton
Last Updated: 13/03/20 11:29am
There will be no ban on UK sporting events just yet as the government steps up its response to coronavirus.
It comes after the World Health Organisation officially labelled the outbreak a pandemic with Prime Minister Boris Johnson chairing a special COBRA meeting at Downing Street on Thursday afternoon.
Many sporting events across Europe have already been postponed or played behind closed doors but it is felt this 'has little effect on the spread'.
- Coronavirus live blog: Latest developments in sport
- UEFA members to meet on March 17 to discuss football competitions and Euros
Speaking at Downing Street, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We are considering the question of banning major public events, including sporting fixtures.
"The scientific advice though is this has little effect on the spread - but it does place a burden on other public services."
Although the Prime Minister confirmed there were no immediate plans to do invoke such a ban the situation could change swiftly.
Coronavirus - key sporting developments
- Football postponements and latest across the leagues
- NBA season suspended "until further notice" after an unnamed player from the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus
- UEFA reviewing whether to suspend the Champions League and Europa League due to coronavirus
- Juventus centre-back Daniele Rugani tests positive for coronavirus but says he "is fine"
- Danish football federation expects friendly vs England at Wembley later this month to be cancelled
- La Liga suspends football fixtures for next two matchdays
Thursday's announcement comes as UEFA members will meet on Tuesday to discuss how best to proceed with domestic and European club competitions - with Euro 2020 likely to be postponed until next summer.
Senior UEFA figures want the Champions League and Europa League suspended from next week with the virus beginning to affect a number of the teams involved.
The meeting, which will be held via video conference, will see the 55 member associations discuss the issue and how it might affect Euro 2020, which is scheduled to begin on June 12.
For the first time in its history, Euro 2020 will be played in 12 different European cities, from Dublin to Baku with the final remaining play-off places set to be decided at the end of this month.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Sky Sports News will broadcast a special programme at 10pm (UK time) - Coronavirus In Sport.