The Premier League’s contact training proposals will be voted on by the 20 clubs at a shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the measures likely to be included in the proposals, based on the ‘Elite sport return to training guidance: Stage Two’ guidelines issued earlier this week by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
NEWS: New guidance published today outlines the second stage of conditions for elite athletes to return to competitive training and the resumption of live sport behind closed doors, when medical experts advise it is safe to do so 👇https://t.co/SZJR8mUbDF pic.twitter.com/iulKPFsyyW— DCMS (@DCMS) May 25, 2020
The guidelines state that this is any interaction within the two-metre social distancing boundary.
Yes, and it will be gradual. The DCMS guidance recommends that initial contact work is done in clusters of two to three people, extended to groups of between four and 12, before ultimately returning to full team training. Social distancing should be practised at all other times.
The Premier League must produce its own risk assessment outlining the number, duration and nature of any contact training sessions, but the guidance says contact should be kept to “a reasonable minimum”.
Twice-weekly testing will continue – the next set of results are due to be published on Wednesday.
As happens now, the player testing positive will self-isolate for seven days before being tested again. But the key difference once contact training starts is that any individuals that person has been in close contact with must also isolate.
Today weâve shared guidance on how elite athletes can safely return to competitive training— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) May 25, 2020
An important step forwards towards the resumption of professional sport
when it is safe to do sohttps://t.co/aysQRY4WPp
The guidelines issued by DCMS state that “meticulous, time and date sensitive, written records of player groups and interactions” should be kept, so that the close contacts of any individuals can easily be traced.
By ensuring there is no swapping between designated clusters or larger groups unless strictly required for realistic team training. Again, any swapping should be meticulously recorded.
Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to return to small group training from Tuesday afternoon â the first step towards restarting the Premier League, when safe to do so— Premier League (@premierleague) May 18, 2020
Full statement: https://t.co/8F3qJxZssV pic.twitter.com/nEdWoQ8EGI
The league has not confirmed this, but clubs were able to train using the stage one protocols for small group training the day after they were approved.
The league was working on a four-week training plan before matches could start, including the period where only small group training was allowed. Based on that, matches could resume in the week beginning June 8 but concerns from players and managers over adequate preparation may push that back by a week or two.