Clubs in the English Premier League on Monday unanimously agreed to resume training on Tuesday, May 19.
The latest move has been considered a significant indication that a return to top-flight English football is closer than ever after being halted April 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was taken after medical teams, league officials, and other stakeholders held a virtual meeting with all parties agreeing to the laid down measures to ensure safety from when training starts to when the league is in session.
Premier League said in a statement after the meeting, “This first stage has been agreed in consultation with players, managers, Premier League club doctors, independent experts and the government.
“Strict medical protocols of the highest standard will ensure everyone returns to training in the safest environment possible.
“The health and wellbeing of all participants is the Premier League’s priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process.
“Full consultation will now continue with players, managers, clubs, the PFA and LMA as protocols for full-contact training are developed.”
Premier League clubs have begun disinfecting all training equipment including balls at their training grounds, delivering training kit to players so they can arrive ready to train, marking out designated parking spaces for players with gaps of three spaces between each car, allocating players to different groups of four or five in which they will train on designated pitches, drawing up lists of staggered arrival times for different players, drawing up lists of club employees who will be allowed at the training ground.
Players have been informed of the stated guidelines, according to details of the release and have been directed to avoid tackling or spitting and maintaining social distancing from everyone else at all times.
The German Bundesliga resumed over the last weekend with no fans in the stadiums and new set of directives including no contact during goal celebration among a list of visible modifications introduced.