when will premier League resume amid the coronavirus pandemic
This effectively marks the final piece of the puzzle in order for matches to restart behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Premier League clubs have unanimously agreed to football following the British government announcement of the return of group sport while maintaining protocols and match day operations plan.
Here is a look at the key questions ahead of the league’s scheduled to return Wednesday, June 17 with Aston Villa Vs Sheffield united.
How will players on the pitch stay safe?
All players and other team staff will continue to be tested for coronavirus twice a week. The pitch and the area immediately around it will be classified as the ‘red zone’ of a stadium – a maximum of 110 people will be allowed in it at any one time and to enter they must present a valid clinical passport, which shows they have tested negative within the last five days.
If a player tests positive after a match, will any opposition players they came into contact with have to self-isolate?
Not unless they too subsequently test positive. Premier League research looking at 288 games this season found that 98 percent of close-quarters player interactions lasted less than five minutes per match, well under the 15-minute close contact threshold set by the government as part of its test and trace strategy.
Referees and assistants will have undergone two rounds of testing before the league restarts.
Can players celebrate together after their team scores?
Players will be reminded to maintain social distancing wherever possible outside of the normal play of a match, including goal celebrations. While the bumping of elbows, which has been a common sight in Germany’s Bundesliga, will not be prohibited, players will be asked to keep touching to a minimum.
What other measures are being taken around social distancing?
Players must keep their distance from the referee, and likewise coaching staff is being advised to stay away from the fourth official.
Players may be split over more than one dressing room, and – if necessary – other areas inside a stadium could be used, such as corporate hospitality areas.
Will substitutes and coaching staff wear face masks like they do in Germany?
No, unless they expressly wish to do so, and nor will players be asked to wear them on arrival at stadiums. Physios and medical staff will wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when they come on to treat injured players and when treating players in the dressing room.
What other hygiene measures will be in place?
Players will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer before and after matches, and avoid spitting or nose-clearing during a match.
How many people in total will be allowed at a match?
The stadiums will be split into three zones: the ‘green zone’ will be the outer perimeter, an ‘amber’ area within the stadium will be occupied by media, broadcast staff, and so on, and the ‘red zone’ will be on and around the pitch. The total number allowed at a match will vary from club to club but will be around 300.
How will teams get to match Venues?
They could fly, travel in coaches or players can use their own vehicles, depending on the circumstances. Coaches will be reconfigured to allow social distancing, and flying is preferred to stopping overnight on longer journeys, though hotel stays are not prohibited as elite athletes fall within the exceptions for overnight stopovers.
Do games get called off at short notice if someone fails a temperature check?
The Premier League is confident it has taken every step possible to avoid any last-minute issues, from regular testing, temperature checking individuals before departure to stadiums, and the introduction of the clinical passport.
Will there still be VAR? How will that work?
VAR will essentially function as normal, but video officials will be more spread out at their Stockley Park HQ than they were prior to the pandemic, to allow for social distancing.