Andy Butler and Doncaster Rovers Belles joined football clubs across the country at 3pm on Saturday to reiterate the NHS message: #StayHomeSaveLives.
Some of the country’s leading sports stars will be teaming up with the NHS this weekend to issue a rallying cry for fans to play their part in showing COVID-19 the red card by staying at home.
The flurry of online messages began at 8pm Friday (when England men’s international game against Italy was due to get under way) with manager Gareth Southgate lending his voice to the campaign.
By lending the NHS their massive social media audiences, sports stars hope to help reinforce the advice from medics and scientists for everyone, and particularly those at greatest risk, to stay at home.
This will slow the spread of COVID-19 and therefore save more lives, and at the same time support health service staff in meeting the challenge they face from the global pandemic.
NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said: “I know lots of people will be missing their weekend sporting rituals over the coming weeks – whether it’s going to the ground, the pub or round their friends’ house to watch their favourite teams compete.
“But nobody can sit on the bench when it comes to the national response to the global coronavirus pandemic, which is why the NHS is calling up sporting heroes to help their fans through this tough time, and encourage them to do the right thing and stay at home.
“Our NHS staff are working round the clock gearing up to deal with this unprecedented challenge, and it’s fantastic to see sport stars helping to amplify their important message: stay home, save lives.”
The latest Government advice makes it clear that everybody should stay at home and:
• Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
• Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
• Wash your hands more regularly, and for 20 seconds
As the nation enters a crucial stage in trying to manage COVID-19, it’s vital the public does their bit to help the NHS by staying at home.