Barça tested for coronavirus on arrival in Italy for Napoli clash
Players, club officials and fans subject to mandatory screening for disease at airport on eve of Champions League match against Napoli
The Barcelona football team arrived in Naples on Monday for their Champions League round of 16 clash on Tuesday evening against Napoli, but the Catalan superstars were not allowed to go to their hotel without first being screened at the airport for the coronavirus.
Italy has introduced measures to contain the spread of the disease after it became the first European country to experience a significant outbreak of the virus. Over 200 people have tested positive for the virus, which has so far led to the deaths of seven people.
The screening protocol imposed at Italian airports means that all passengers must take a simple test to check their temperature. No one is exempt, including the Barça players, club officials and fans traveling for Tuesday evening's match.
After passing the tests, the team and officials were escorted to the Hotel NH Napoli Panorama, where they will stay in the run-up to the game, and where waiting for them was heavy security and some 200 Italian Barça fans who chanted "Messi, Messi, Messi."
In Italy, the outbreak of the coronavirus has been limited to the north of the country, while Naples is in the south. Yet, the World Health Organization said on Monday that while it is too early to call the outbreak a pandemic, countries should be "in a phase of preparedness."