The British government has called a meeting with sports governing bodies and broadcasters on Monday to discuss how they would cope with a broader outbreak of COVID-19, two people familiar with the situation said.
The department in charge of sport will meet with sporting officials to discuss all outcomes including the possibility that some events could be held behind closed doors, one source said.
The department declined to comment. A third person said they have been in regular dialogue with the government for some time.
Britain’s four-phase plan for dealing with the virus is currently in its initial “containment” stage but preparations for the next phase – known as “delay” – are advanced.
A planning document published earlier this week said that in the delay phase government would consider taking action to reduce the number of large scale gatherings to help slow the spread of the disease throughout the population.
One person has died in Britain from the virus so far and more than 160 people have tested positive.
Italy has ordered all major sporting events throughout the country, including top-flight Serie A soccer games, to be played without fans for one month in a bid to curb Europe’s worst COVID-19 outbreak.
In England, the top-tier soccer Premier League is two thirds of the way through the season and is due to end in May. The Six Nations rugby union contest has already been disrupted, with games in Italy and Ireland postponed.
Some matches including the final of the UEFA European Championship are due to be held at London’s Wembley Stadium and in June and July.