Arsenal players will make a return to training at their London Colney training ground next week despite the UK still being on a government-imposed lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, sources have told ESPN.
They are the first Premier League club to make a tightly controlled return to training since the suspension of football in England due to the coronavirus on March 13.
Sources have told ESPN that strict rules have been put in place by the club. Players will travel individually and will already be in their training gear for the session. They will go directly to the outdoor pitches, with all buildings at the training ground closed. Players will return home immediately after the session, without showering or having lunch on site as they normally do.
The Arsenal players will train in small groups and respect social distancing rules, as imposed by the government. Sources have told ESPN players will do individual workouts and train on a rota so the first team squad do not train altogether.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the coronavirus, the club announced on March 12, which led to the postponement of their match against Brighton and eventually the suspension of all matches in England.
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The UK government imposed strict social distancing guidelines following the outbreak of the coronavius, with only essential workers meant to leave their homes in order to travel to work. Following the announcement of the measures last month, a post on the official Arsenal Twitter account read: “Stay at home. Save lives.”
To date, more than 20,000 people in the UK have died from the coronavirus, while the Premier League and all major leagues across Europe are suspended indefinitely.