There is some promising news from the latest round of coronavirus testing. Players and staff were tested for the second time this week, with just two of the tests coming back positive.
Last Sunday, in the first round of testing, six individuals had tested positive. So to see a drop after beginning phase 1 will give the Premier League more hope that they can get this season completed.
The Chronicle are reporting that the league will push ahead with Project Restart after receiving the encouraging news.
After voting to start phase 1 on Monday, Premier League chief Richard Masters said the following about what must happen before even discussing moving to phase 2:
“Today we haven’t talked to the players or even the clubs yet about a return to contact training, in terms of the fine details of protocols. We’re anticipating we can do that in the next week to 10 days.
“Before any decisions are made exactly the same as this stage’s decision, we will have very similar meetings with players and managers to explain to them how contact training would work and so they can raise their concerns and questions and we can answer any medical concerns they might have.
“It’s exactly the same process repeated we have done for this stage of the protocols, we’ll repeat that for stage two.”
The return to full group training will be implemented in 3 phases. Phase 2 protocols will be discussed with all clubs tomorrow before being voted on the following Wednesday.
If approved, phase 2 will see training ramped up to allow 10 players on a pitch rather than just the 5 allowed now. Players will also be allowed to press, but tackling will still be prohibited.
We expect the next phase to be treated exactly like the first where the league will only concentrate on successfully implementing the protocols before discussing moving to phase 3, which would encompass a return to full group training.