England will no longer face Italy on March 14 in the Six Nations after the clash was postponed due to coronavirus. The comes after Italy’s match with Ireland was also called off in Dublin this weekend.
Why was England vs Italy called off?
Last night the Italian government announced all sports events would be suspended unless they can be staged without fans present.
The Italian government’s decree said: “There will be no sporting events with the presence of the public in order to prevent further contagion opportunities.
“Sports events of all kinds are suspended. “However, it is permitted to carry them out behind closed doors.
“In all cases, associations and clubs are required to carry out the appropriate checks to contain the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus among all who participate.”
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Following the announcement, Six Nations chiefs called an emergency meeting and decided to postpone the match rather than play in an empty stadium.
However, the decision will likely anger the 20,000 fans who have already booked travel for the match.
Italy is the worst-hit European country with some 3,090 cases and 107 deaths.
And the England match isn’t the only sporting fixture to be affected.
In Serie A many matches, including Juventus v Inter Milan, have been postponed.
When will the match be rescheduled?
The Italian decree said matches cannot be played until April 3 at the earliest.
As yet, no date has been scheduled for the clash to take place.
The fixture was due to be England’s final game of the tournament.
so it is unclear when – or even if – the game will get played as the coronavirus outbreak rages on.
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Should you travel to Italy?
The FCO advise against all but essential travel to 10 small towns in Lombardy (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano) and one in Veneto (Vo’ Euganeo), which have been isolated by the Italian authorities.
The travel advice reads: “The government of Italy has introduced extraordinary measures that allow regions to implement civil protection measures in response to coronavirus, including the isolation of these towns.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said: “CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Italy. There is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas. Widespread, sustained community spread of a respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus (COVID-19) has been reported in Italy.
“Sustained community spread means that people have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known, and virus transmission is ongoing.
“Illness from this virus has ranged from mild to severe. Signs and symptoms of infection include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
“This new coronavirus has caused severe disease and death in patients who developed pneumonia. Risk factors for severe illness are not yet clear, although older adults and those with chronic medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness.”
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