U.S. Sports Leagues Close Locker Rooms To Public

The statement reflects concerns about the health risk athletes face from the public before and after events.

U.S. Sports Leagues Close Locker Rooms To Public
Gregory Bull / AP

U.S. sports leagues say locker rooms and clubhouses will be closed to reporters and any non-essential personnel moving forward, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow. Leagues making the policy change include Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer.

In a joint statement Monday, the leagues said the decision comes after consultations with health experts and will remain in place until further notice. The move reflects concerns about health risks athletes face when coming into close contact with the public before and after events.

In MLB and the NBA, press will be able to access coaches and athletes only in rooms where there is at least a six-foot barrier between the reporters and team members, according to USA Today. Hockey and soccer interviews will also be done in designated areas outside the locker room.

Around the world, leagues across all sports are taking similar measures in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.