Premier League players will have to cover faces in full training

'Project Restart' proposals to be discussed on Friday - including spitting ban and footballs, goalposts to be disinfected

Gremio players wear face masks in protest at their match taking place despite the Coronavirus outbreak
Image: Players at Brazilian club Gremio wore face masks in protest at their match taking place despite the coronavirus outbreak - but protective equipment could become a common sight at Premier League training grounds

Premier League players will have to cover their faces as part of new rules to allow a safe return to full training.

A document setting out 'Project Restart' will be discussed at a Premier League club meeting on Friday, as initially reported by the Daily Mirror.

Proposals have been drafted by Premier League director of football Richard Garlick but a return to training will only happen with the agreement of the government.

Plans include testing all players and officials 48 hours before returning to training and they will also be tested for potential respiratory problems associated with coronavirus.

Socially distanced training at Schalke
Image: Socially distanced training at Schalke; Premier League proposals could see five players per group

Other proposals include:

  • All footballs, global positioning system [GPS] units, cones, corner flags, goalposts and other equipment to be disinfected before and after use by staff wearing personal protective equipment [PPE]
  • Players to wear snood/masks at all times
  • Cars to be parked three spaces apart
  • No massages unless approved by club doctor
  • Fluids to be left at designated pick-up points
  • Only visit training block to use toilet
  • Initially only five players per training group
  • Players to be given designated time slots and 15 minutes to prepare
  • 75 minutes of small group training
  • 15 minutes' recovery
  • Players and staff will be banned from spitting at the training ground

Testing proposals to be put to clubs

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FIFA Medical Committee chairman Dr Michel D’Hooghe says health must be the priority when decisions are made about the resumption of football

Clubs will also be presented with proposals to test players and officials at least twice a week, subject to government approval.

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.

'Project Restart' - when are PL clubs back in training?

Matteo Guendouzi pictured training with Arsenal before the shutdown
Image: Matteo Guendouzi pictured training with Arsenal before the shutdown

Some Premier League teams have returned to training grounds - subject to strict conditions and social distancing measures.

Arsenal were the first to welcome back members of their first-team squad on April 27 but players must travel alone, do their individual workout and return home.

Tottenham players returned to training at their Hotspur Way base earlier this week, with Harry Kane among those to arrive first ahead of staggered shifts involving the first-team squad.

West Ham United's Rush Green training ground is open to players but with strict conditions attached including a one-in one-out policy, while Sheffield United players are individually returning for fitness testing and Wolves players are are able to access their training facilities for individual running sessions during the pandemic.

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