Showers and spitting off limits as MLB eyes safe return to games

Major League Baseball players will be prohibited from taking showers after games and there will be no fist-bump celebrations or spitting sunflower seeds in the dugout, according to a return-to-play guidelines drafted by league officials.

The new restrictions, which have to be approved by the players’ union, would also enforce social distancing, meaning no hugs or high fives after a home run, and a ban on chewing tobacco, the US media reported on Saturday.

Players would go through daily temperature screenings and have to sanitize their hands each half-inning. MLB plans to perform thousands of tests on players, coaches, management and stadium personnel for Covid-19 on a weekly basis.

Showers would not be permitted at the stadium after games.

MLB believes the 67-page return-to-play rules would prevent against the spread of Covid-19 as the league is hoping to begin a shortened 2020 season by early July, The Athletic reported.

Players not in the lineup would need to sit in auxiliary seating at a social distance and not in the dugout. Non-playing team personnel would need to wear face coverings in the dugout.

Most essential team personnel would be tested for the coronavirus more than once each week, as would their family members.

Anyone testing positive would immediately be quarantined. (AFP)

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