The continuing spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus is extremely concerning and has already caused enormous disruption to the sporting world. Naturally, it also has the potential to cause significant disruption to the club’s activities this season and to the wider game over the year ahead. Quite what impact it will have at this stage remains unknown, although you have our assurance that the situation is being constantly monitored.
Most importantly, the virus itself poses a significant risk to the health of our members, players and staff – a matter which we are taking extremely seriously, and which is at the forefront of every decision we are making. Whilst the situation is ever changing, at present, the UK Government has confirmed that a “business as usual” approach should continue across the country where possible, and we are closely following that advice, albeit with sensible health and safety measures in place. As the situation changes, as undoubtedly it will, the club will respond accordingly, following UK Government advice and making sensible, risk-based decisions.
It is widely reported that the impact of the virus poses a much more significant risk to older people and those with underlying health conditions. With this in mind, we strongly advise members to make their own risk-based decisions as to whether attendance at events is wise and that they communicate with the club accordingly.
If and when the club feels it is appropriate to postpone members’ events, as we have chosen to do for next week’s Members’ and Players’ Quiz evening, we will notify members on the club’s official website and will personally inform members who have purchased tickets of the refund or exchange procedures. We strongly advise that members should read the club’s website for future updates and information about forthcoming events
The club has also taken the decision to form a Coronavirus Risk Management Group, chaired by Club Chairman Mike O’Farrell, which is in constant liaison to assess the ongoing situation as it develops, making and implementing appropriate plans with the health and safety of members, staff and players being our number one priority.
We are working closely with our friends at MCC, who are strictly adhering to all guidelines provided by Public Health England and the NHS guidelines, and have increased the cleaning routines across all facilities at Lord’s and strengthened hygiene and sanitisation in public areas, with all visitors also being asked to ensure they wash their hands on arrival at the Ground.
The players have returned early from their pre-season tour in Oman – returning to the UK this morning, several days earlier than planned. Whilst all medical advice we received was that remaining in Oman posed no additional threat to the club’s players or staff, we felt that the speed with which the situation is changing across the globe – often hourly, that the welfare of the players and staff in Oman would be better served by them returning early to the UK. They landed this morning at Heathrow and will spend some time with their families before returning to their pre-season training preparations at Merchant Taylors’ School.
We are also in constant liaison with the England and Wales Cricket Board, who are currently working closely with each of the eighteen first-class counties and the MCC on contingency plans and impact assessments for the coming season. As it stands at present, we are still in ‘business as usual’ mode for the forthcoming season and members and supporters will be made aware of any changes to this, should it change.
We will be sure to post updates on the changing situation when necessary.