Premier League resumption: What are the key guidelines in place?
The Premier League 2019-20 season is all set to resume on June 17 after a three-month hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic. 92 fixtures are still to be played as matches will be held behind closed doors. The Premier League will be following a set of protocols in order to ensure the protection of players, staff and safety of stadiums. Here are the key guidelines.
Stadium access only for specific people
Premier League clubs will need to ensure that stadium access is only for specific people. In total, about 300 people will be allowed at stadiums for each match until the end of the 2019-20 season. Meanwhile, stadiums will be divided into three zones: red, amber and green. Notably, each zone has unique protocols and procedures in play.
Players and staff are required to undergo daily screening
EPL players and staff are required to undergo daily screening for COVID-19. Before leaving for a match, they must complete relevant checks for coronavirus and report any symptoms. Teams need to travel to the stadium in sterile environments. Social distancing and full hygiene measures are to be followed. Players and staff will be given a sterile route from their vehicles to the dressing room.
Widespread disinfection needs to be done at stadiums
During warm-ups prior to a match, players and officials must minimize close contact. Strict cleaning measures at stadiums need to include widespread disinfection. Hand sanitizers and hand-washing facilities need to be made available on a large scale. People should not gather in or around the tunnel area at any time. Also, there should be no handshakes inside the tunnel.
Key measures in place during a match
People in the technical area must maintain social-distancing, with zones marked out to guide them. There will be no ball assistants available. Medical personnel will need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). There will be a drinks breaks midway through each half. The breaks should not be more than a minute and players need to drink from their own bottles.
Key instructions in store for players and managers
During goal celebrations, players need to maintain distance. There will be no handshakes by players and managers. Hand sanitizers need to be used before and after the match. Mass confrontations need to be avoided with opponents or match officials. Meanwhile, interactions with opponents after the match need to be restricted.
What are the new rules on substitutions?
Five substitutions by teams will be allowed during a match, instead of three, in line with the temporary law amendment made by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). Teams can also have nine players on the substitution bench rather than seven. Only three substitutes from one side are allowed to warm up at one time.