Premier League clubs will return to training in small groups from Tuesday after the latest stage of "Project Restart" was approved on Monday.
Clubs unanimously voted to allow players to start socially distanced training in a bid to meet the Premier League's mid-June date to resume the season.
Contact training is not permitted at this stage and corner flags, balls, cones, goalposts, playing surfaces and other equipment will be disinfected after each session.
Testing has taken place at Premier League clubs over the last few days and will continue throughout the training period.
"Strict medical protocols of the highest standard will ensure everyone returns to training in the safest environment possible," Premier League said in a statement.
"The health and well being of all participants is the Premier League’s priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process," the statement added.
The training protocols were presented to players and managers last week before being rubber-stamped during Monday's video conference call. Other rules in phase one include players not travelling with anyone to or from training, while the use of public transport and team vehicles is banned.
The decision was taken at a league shareholders’ meeting where it was established that a group of no more than five players per pitch will be allowed to train. Other issues such as the completion of the remaining 92 games of the season were discussed as well.
Despite the decision, some players have rightly voiced their concern.
“Phase one is social distancing individual training with a coach; that’s no problem, that’s like going to the park,” Watford’s captain, Troy Deeney, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “Phase two will be next week: six days’ worth of training, three to six people training together with contact, and then six days after that you’re going into 11 v 11 and you can’t social distance with 11 v 11
“I’m desperate to play football, it’s my job, I’ve got the best job in the world. But there has to be clear and safe measures for everybody, not just me. I saw Tammy Abraham say his dad has asthma and he lives with him so he has concerns.
“It’s not just players at the bottom who are trying to stay in the league, it’s concerns right across the board. I have had a lot of texts from players who are worried about coming out and speaking. I would say 98% are very much aware that phase one is very good. I would say 65-70% of people are concerned with phase two. I’d say even higher after that.”
Over the past weekend, the German Bundesliga made a successful comeback after two months where the fixtures were played in empty stadiums.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Behrouz Mehri