A date for the Premier League’s return could be set this week, with clubs poised to give the go ahead for phase two of training on Wednesday.
Top-flight sides began to return to non-contact group training last week, as the Premier League continues to edge closer to resumption thanks to ‘Project Restart’.
Teams are to vote on Wednesday whether to push on with phase two, which will permit contact training sessions once more.
Bournemouth have confirmed that an unnamed player has tested positive for the Coronavirus disease.
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According to Sky Sports, the majority of clubs are to support the introduction of phase two, and this could see a proposed fixture list drafted up and a date for the return of competitive action.
The date of 19 June has been targeted, but this could be pushed back a week to 26 June.
Several clubs have voiced concerns about the proposed return to contact training, with the primary worry regarding what would happen should a player test positive for coronavirus.
Clubs are concerned that such a scenario would result in all squad members being quarantined for 14 days, jeopardising the league’s return plans.
However, the Telegraph reports that Premier League clubs are not expected to have to put their entire squad into quarantine if one player tests positive.
According to the government’s latest advice, if a factory worker contracts coronavirus, the entire factory will not have to shut down – and this same rule can be applied to football.
Previous guidelines had stated that anyone who comes into contact with an individual who tests positive is required to isolate for 14 days.
However, new guidelines have drawn distinctions between those you are living with and work colleagues – with the nature and length of interaction different between the two groups.
An individual player will instead be required to isolate for seven days should they test positive, as opposed to the entire squad.
The fact that training takes place outdoors and not in an enclosed space also gives the return to football a reduced risk.
However, critics will argue that contact training will still involve interactions of closer proximity than work places adhering to social distancing guidelines – such is the physical nature of football.