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Photo: Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Soccer leagues across Europe are reacting differently as the coronavirus spreads, from canceling games to playing in closed-door arenas.

Driving the news: The Premier League has banned the ceremonial pre-match handshake. But following advice from the government, it has not canceled any of the upcoming games yet.

Journalists are being asked about their recent whereabouts prior to a pre-match news conference with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, per AP.

  • Five Serie A matches, including the Juventus-Inter Milan game, will be played in empty stadiums, ESPN reports. The preventative measure comes as Italy has the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe.
  • Switzerland has postponed all games in the top two divisions after a federal order banned events involving more than 1,000 till mid-March.
  • The Spanish league said the match between historic rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona is not suspended, but there is a contingency plan if needed — which could include playing the game in a closed-door stadium, per AP.

The bottom line: The coronavirus' impact is forcing influential soccer leagues to put a pause on major games or block fans from stadiums to view matches, forcing leagues to take a revenue hit, in hopes of preventing the disease from spreading.

Go deeper

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

13 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.