Premier League clubs agree medical and operational restart plans

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Premier League clubs have agreed to a range of medical and operational protocols for the restart of the 2019-20 season on 17 June.

The unanimous vote was passed at a meeting yesterday.

There will be strict limits on those allowed into stadiums on matchdays and grounds will be split up into zones, including the tunnel and pitchside.

There will be deep cleaning of corner flags, goalposts and match balls before and after each fixture.

Some extra disinfection, such as of the substitution board after it is used, is likely to take place during matches and at half-time, while other work will be carried out during drinks breaks if they are permitted by the league.

The medical protocols stipulate how squads and coaching staff must travel to and from games, observing social distancing.

Clubs are also likely to hold a minute’s silence to remember those who have died with coronavirus before the first games after the restart.

The acknowledgement of the impact of the pandemic and the efforts of frontline workers is expected at the opening two games on Wednesday and the first full round of fixtures.

Heart-shaped badges in tribute to the NHS are also set to be worn on kits.

The fixture schedule for the first three rounds was confirmed on Friday, with 33 of the remaining 92 matches to be shown on free-to-air platforms.

The Premier League will resume on 17 June when Aston Villa host Sheffield United at 18:00 BST, with Manchester City v Arsenal at 20:15.

All levels of football have been suspended since 13 March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Teams returned to contact training at the end of May. In the latest round of testing at Premier League clubs, one person tested positive for Covid-19.

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