Coronavirus: Premier League players tested twice a week?
Testing would only be done if it does not compromise testing of key workers
By Bryan Swanson, Chief Reporter, Sky Sports News and Dharmesh Sheth
Last Updated: 30/04/20 10:32am
Premier League clubs will be presented with proposals to test players and officials at least twice a week, if the government approves plans for them to return to full training.
The proposals have been drafted by Premier League medical advisor Dr Mark Gillett, following close consultation with other European leagues including La Liga in Spain and Bundesliga in Germany.
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But testing will only be done on the understanding it does not compromise the testing of key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The tests will be paid for by the Premier League and privately sourced, so it does not take any resources from public health needs.
Sky Sports News has been told a number of club doctors were involved in drafting the plan with Dr Gillett, and representatives from all 20 clubs discussed draft medical protocols during a conference call on April 25.
A formal proposal will be presented to clubs during a shareholder meeting on Friday, where they will be asked for their feedback and express any concerns over the plans.
The Premier League targets a return behind closed doors in June and the government has supported a swift resumption, if it is safe to do so.
Oliver Dowden, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, said on Monday: "I personally have been in talks with the Premier League, with a view to getting football up and running as soon as possible in order to support the whole football community.
"But, of course, any such moves would have to be consistent with public health guidance."
The government will review present lockdown restrictions by May 7.
The issue of when football can safely resume has divided the opinion of the game's most senior medical officers.
On Tuesday, Dr Michel D'Hooghe, chairman of FIFA's medical committee, told Sky Sports News: "The world is not ready for competitive football. I hope this can change very quickly. Today you need more patience."
D'Hooghe said the present situation was the most "dramatic" since the Second World War and does not personally want football to resume until at least September 1.
But the following day, Professor Tim Meyer, chairman of UEFA's medical committee, said: "All football organisations which are planning the restart of their competitions will produce comprehensive dictating sanitary and operational conditions ensuring that the health of those involved in the games is protected and the integrity of public policy is preserved.
"Under these conditions and in full respect of local legislation, it is definitely possible to plan the restart of the competitions suspended during the 2019/20 season."
UEFA has asked all European leagues, including the Premier League, to provide them with the date and format of a domestic resumption by May 25, two days before a crucial UEFA Executive Committee meeting.