An EFL statement reads as follows, “The FA, Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until 3 April at the earliest.
"This action, which will be kept under constant review, has been taken due to the increasing numbers of Clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the COVID-19 virus.
"The postponements include all matches in the Championship, League One and League Two, as well as all Academy and youth team fixtures.
"In addition, Clubs are being advised to suspend indefinitely all non-essential activities which include, but are not limited to, player appearances, training ground visits and fan meetings.
"Whilst the EFL Board has continued to take the advice and guidance offered by the Government and its health advisors, emerging developments mean now is the time to implement football’s contingency plans in response to the crisis.
"A further update on these plans will be given post an EFL Board Meeting next week.
"This decision has not been taken lightly, but the EFL must prioritise the health and well-being of players, staff and supporters while also acknowledging the Government’s national efforts in tackling this outbreak.”
All match tickets sold for our upcoming games against Stoke City, Derby County and Brentford will remain valid for the rearranged fixture date as normal and our usual match postponement policy applies. This also applies the two Reading FC Women games against Brighton & Hove Albion and Liverpool, which have also been postponed.
In addition to this statement, and in line with guidance issued, to mitigate the risk of passing on infection Reading Football Club have put a temporary halt to stadium tours and all player appearances in the community until further notice, and Community Trust activities will also be restricted. Community is so important to our club, but these measures have been taken with the welfare of our community at the forefront of our mind and in the interests of safety of our fans, players and staff.
In our day-to-day business, we have responsibly requested that staff consider restricting non-essential meetings at both our stadium and the training ground and instead explore the option of over-the-phone conversations and conference calls where feasible. And at the training ground, a series of PFA guidelines have been issued to all first team and Academy players and implemented on site with the intention of diminishing the risk of infection to our playing staff.
We have also asked external visitors arriving at our training ground during this week to self-certify and declare they have not shown any symptoms of illness and have not recently travelled to any of the more seriously COVID-19 affected countries – and therefore pose a low risk.
The wellbeing of our fans, staff, players and all visitors to Reading Football Club is of paramount importance, so we will continue to closely liaise with the relevant authorities to ensure we follow government, NHS, EFL, FA and PFA advice and monitor an ever-changing situation.
But we would also like to take this opportunity to remind all our supporters of the latest expert guidance given to the public by the NHS:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. And always wash your hands when you get home or into work. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and 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 immediately and wash your hands afterwards.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell and don't do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
- Stay at home for seven days if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough.
- You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home. However, please use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, your condition gets worse or your symptoms do not get better after seven days.
Please continue to follow NHS guidelines and stay informed of the latest measures advised by visiting the NHS website.