As football action resumes in the English Premier League next week, clubs have agreed to matchday protocols, which include splitting stadiums into red, amber, and green zones to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Part of the agreement reached on Thursday was that there won’t be any need for Premier League players to wear face masks while arriving at stadiums, in dressing rooms, or on the substitutes’ bench when the actions resume.
With the remaining games of the season set to be played without fans having access to stadiums, around 300 people that will be working with the clubs will have their temperatures checked on arrival.
EPL protocols: The zones explained
According to reports, only 110 people, which include players, coaches, medical staff, match officials, pitch technicians, and Hawk-eye personnel for goal-line and video replay technology will be allowed in the red zone, which is around the pitch. They must have been COVID-19 negative in the previous five days. This is part of a medical passport that will see a bar code scanned before they can enter.
On the resumption of the Bundesliga last month, the substitutes and coaching staff were sighted wearing masks. However, the rule has been relaxed this week and the Premier League will adopt the same approach. All players are therefore required to maintain social distancing by staying 2 meters (6 feet) apart were possible like in the dressing rooms, while entering the field, during warm-ups, and in goal celebrations.
Although there are still interstate bans, teams would be allowed to travel across England on the day of the game – ideally by plane than staying in hotels. Hotels can, however, be used by squads even though they remain closed to the wider public in England beyond key workers.
As part of the protocols, teams will arrive at stadiums on two buses to maintain social distancing. They will not also emerge from the same tunnel at the same time to enter the field for the match as usual.
During interviews, the social distancing protocol will also be enforced as players will maintain a distance from the media in the amber zone at stadiums which include media and club executives, who won’t require virus testing, while the green zone is the outer concourse.