United’s first team squad returns to contact training on 3 August as they take the next step up in their preparations for the start of the 2020/21 season.
“Stage one of the players being back is that they can train in small groups of five, with a coach per group, and they all have to remain socially distanced,” chief executive Nigel Clibbens explained. “There are all kinds of protocols to ensure they remain fit to train and to confirm they aren’t showing any symptoms, and it’s all very restricted.
“The players have been up at Creighton for a couple of days, and we would ask the fans to keep their distance if they do happen to be there when the players are, to make sure we follow all of the guidelines.”
“Stage two training will start on Monday [3 August] and there’s another rulebook with more guidance to follow for that,” he added. “Before any of the players and staff can participate in stage two training they will all have to pass a Covid test.
“They’ll get those tests this week, so they have their results back before they start training on Monday.
“In stage two, we’ve got to provide the EFL with our plan on how contact training will work. The coaches have to provide risk assessments on their training sessions. We’ve got to cover things around how the players will be able to use changing rooms and maintain social distancing, as well as the gym, which is seen as a high-risk area.
“Another area is the medical treatment, and how many people and what type of treatment the physios are allowed to do.
“There are so many new things that everybody needs to get their heads around. Things that people are used to doing will have to be done in a different way, and that’s before we start playing any games.
“Once we get into friendlies we move into stage three, and again there is a list of another set of protocols and guidelines we have to follow.
“You get into different things that people might have seen in the Premier League and play-off games in terms of red zones and green zones around the stadium, and people can only go into certain areas if they fit certain criteria.”
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