League leaders Liverpool will be back in training soon as they chase a first ever Premier League title. Image Credit:

Premier League clubs on Monday unanimously voted to return to training — stage 1 of the strict protocols of ‘Project restart’ which will permit them to resume fitness programmes in small groups.

Clubs have been reminded that they must adhere to strict rules during the coronavirus pandemic — including maintaining social distance and no contact between players.

A statement from the Premier League said: “Strict medical protocols of the highest standard will ensure everyone returns to training in the safest environment possible.

“The health and well-being of all participants is the Premier League’s priority, and the safe return to training is a step-by-step process.

“Full consultation will now continue with players, managers, clubs, the PFA and LMA as protocols for full-contact training are developed.”

Protocols sent to clubs last week stated that all playing surfaces and equipment should be disinfected before and after each training session.

Players must also undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week and daily temperature checks.

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce has said that training will be “as safe as it can be”, with players turning up at the ground ready to go and already wearing their training kits.

“It’s been a really difficult time, but I hope with the news that phase one is about to start — and I must stress that phase one looks as if it’s as safe as it can be — I’m sure everyone will be delighted that we’re trying to make that effort,” he told NUFC TV.

“In phase one we’re allowed to train four to five people on one pitch, so basically a player has a quarter of a pitch to work within, so social distancing is not a problem. We’ll train with eight to 10 at a time on two separate pitches.

“Everything is in place in the safety aspect. I’ve got no issues and I can tell the supporters the players and the staff are as safe as we possibly can be. We all understand that this virus isn’t going to go away just like that — it’s going to hang around a bit, but I think with the protocols in place we’ll do everything we possibly can to get up and running again.”