NRL sends warning to players over coronavirus protocol hours before season start

NRL players have been told to avoid shaking hands with fans in a bid to control the coronavirus outbreak as part of a document sent to all clubs.

League officials will brief all 16 club bosses on Thursday afternoon on the virus, just hours before the season kicks off between Parramatta and Canterbury.

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However an email sent to club officials on Thursday morning outlined a number of recommended measurements.

Those include not taking selfies with fans after matches and avoiding taking pens from fans to sign autographs.

James Tedesco of the Blues poses with fans after winning game three of the 2019 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on July 10, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Limit player contact

Clubs have been told to take reasonable steps to limit player contact with community organisations such as hospitals and schools.

Post-match access to dressing sheds will also be limited, as the league desperately tries to stay on top of the situation.

The document went out moments before the NBA made the decision to suspend their league after a player tested positive to the virus.

A number of sporting matches around the world have also been played behind closed doors.

Thursday's document included no such details on when those measures could or would be implemented.

It came after the Sydney Roosters revealed earlier this week they had stopped shaking hands at the club as a health measure.

Clubs has also been told to take reasonable steps to limit player contact with community organisations such as hospitals and schools.