The EFL has outlined protocols for clubs, stating that players will have to conduct the tests at home or their team’s training ground.
Once training grounds have had their initial assessment approved, it will be down to players to “self-administer” twice a week after that.
The EFL is hoping that clubs will be able to resume training of some description from Monday, with anyone testing positive – whether they display symptoms or not – needing to self-isolate for 14 days.
Congrats Fulham, but we want some new teams in the Premier League – The Warm-Up
The protocols are part of a 26-page document obtained by BBC Sport.
Government guidelines mean that any players returning to training at their club’s will have to “opt-in”, agree to take part and provide written confirmation that they have received the "Covid-19 operational policy". Under the protocol, they can also opt-out at any point.
The EFL’s protocol differs to the Premier League’s own, but both bodies state that training can only be in groups of no more than five, and for no longer than 75 minutes at a time. Everything, including balls, goals and GPS units used, is to be disinfected before and after training.
Matty Cash, Nottingham Forest 2019-2020 (Getty Images)
Image credit: Getty Images
The EFL states: "Following the initial test, subsequent CATs will be self-administered and are to be performed at home on the morning of training on two specified days each week.
"This forms part of the latest EFL guidance and will ensure minimal risk of cross-infection.
"Players and staff will be provided with instructions and guidance to assist with performing this.
"Samples must be handed to the medical staff on immediate arrival at the training ground so that they can be couriered to the designated lab.
"The testing laboratory and kits have been selected by the league and as such, we are not in control of these."
The EFL is desperate to restart the Championship and avoid having to make a decision on how to complete the season should it be forced to end. Leeds United and West Brom occupy the two automatic promotion spots, but any number of teams could make a claim for a play-off position. It's a similar situation at the bottom, with no side guaranteed to be relegated.
Premier League clubs returned to training this week, with six people (staff and players) testing positive for coronavirus in the first week.
What are the EFL protocols?
- It is "recommended as few footballs and equipment used as possible"
- "Tackling" and "any opposed activities" are prohibited
- Equipment will be disinfected where necessary, including "cones, goalposts, mannequins, GPS units, balls and gloves"
- PPE may be required, including "mask and gloves" when injured players enter the gym and "coaching staff will be asked to wear gloves during sessions"
- Players are told not to "chat in groups" and will not be allowed to use ice baths, showers or have "non-essential treatment"
- Players will have designated parking spaces, will have to arrive in their own kit and bring their own drinks and towels.
Fulham reach Premier League with dramatic extra-time win over Brentford
Fulham book Brentford play-off final showdown despite second-leg defeat to Cardiff City