Premier League clubs have today unanimously voted to move to Phase 2 of the return to football protocols, which will allow full contact training.
Since last week, players have been training in small groups while observing social distancing, but after Covid-19 testing showed minimal infections it has been decided to kick things on.
A statement released this lunchtime via the Premier League website reads:
Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to resume contact training, marking another step towards restarting the Premier League season, when safe to do so.
Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact.
The Premier League’s priority is the health and wellbeing of all participants.
Strict medical protocols are in place to ensure the training ground is the safest environment possible and players and staff will continue to be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.
Stage Two of the Return to Training protocol has been agreed following consultation with clubs, players, managers, the PFA, LMA and the Government.
Discussions are ongoing as work continues towards resuming the season, when conditions allow.
This is obviously a significant development as teams prepare for the resumption of the 2019-20 season.
As of yet there are no official indications of how and when the games will be played, although some reports have suggested matches will all be broadcast in clutches over the weekend days.
We’ll wait for details on that, but for now Mikel Arteta and his players can start working in relative normality once again.