Revealed! The strict training protocols that Championship clubs MUST adhere to - including players self-testing for Covid-19

Championship players will have to carry out their own coronavirus tests at home after the first batch of testing at clubs, according to the EFL's return to training protocol.

(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

The EFL is hoping second-tier clubs can return to training from Monday with a view to fulfilling their remaining fixtures.

The 26-page document, as seen by the BBC, covers the pre-return preparations, the plan for the Covid-19 Antigen Testing (CAT) and what the small group training must look like.

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Players can opt out

Players across the second-tier are being told tests should be "self-administered" on the morning of training, twice a week.

However, under the ‘Covid-19 operational policy’, Championship players can decide against returning to training and those who do but then have a change of heart, can ‘opt out’ at any stage.

In terms of the testing itself, players who test positive and are not showing symptoms must "isolate for 14 days".

Those who test positive and do have symptoms must "isolate for seven days" and would then face no further antigen testing. Those who test negative but display symptoms should "isolate for seven days, then retest".

Training in small groups

Another requirement before the first day of training is that each player will have a brief medical examination with the club doctor to measure heart and lung auscultations, as well as oxygen saturations.

EFL guidelines also require players and staff to complete a daily medical questionnaire on training days. This has to be submitted before arrival at the training ground, otherwise they will be denied access.

When players are able to enter the training ground, Championship clubs will have to train in small groups of five for a maximum of 75 minutes, with 15 minutes allowed for warm-up and recovery – similar to the Premier League.

Footballs, GPS units and other equipment will be disinfected pre and post-session. Social distancing of two metres must be observed at all times.

Players told not to ‘chat in groups

Furthermore, as quoted on the BBC website, the protocol also says:

- 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.

- The protocol outlines that the "initial testing" will be carried out at the training ground, and that players will be provided a five-minute time slot for their test. They will also be given their training kit and football boots during this visit.

It goes on to state: "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."