Chelsea are following the advice of the Premier League and have begun the process of gathering our party before venturing forth.
Players who had been staying outside the UK during the lockdown are expected to be subject to a two-week quarantine upon their return, and with the league potentially getting ready to return to training soon — tomorrow’s latest crisis meeting should shed some more light on those plans — teams will want all pieces in place in ready to go as much as possible.
For Chelsea, those players include not only Willian, but Marcos Alonso, Pedro, and Kepa Arrizabalaga as well. According to Matt Law of the Telegraph, Chelsea have asked them all to return to London by Sunday.
That's certainly great news but this could all blow up in everyone's faces if players and staff start getting sick again.
The Premier League’s plan, “Project Restart” is set to be presented and its proposals discussed in Friday’s meeting, though a full return to training will need governmental approval first as well.
In addition to the biggest issue of testing, the measures will reportedly include the following.
-All footballs, global positioning system [GPS] units, cones, corner flags, goalposts and other equipment to be disinfected before and after use by staff wearing personal protective equipment [PPE]
-Players to wear snood/masks at all times
-Cars to be parked three spaces apart
-No massages unless approved by club doctor
-Fluids to be left at designated pick-up points
-Only visit training block to use toilet
-Initially only five players per training group
-Players to be given designated time slots and 15 minutes to prepare
-75 minutes of small group training
-15 minutes’ recovery
-Players and staff will be banned from spitting at the training ground
-All players tested twice weekly, with the league paying for those “privately sourced” tests (i.e. not requiring NHS or other public resources)
Hopefully, we can soon get some football happiness in our socially distanced lives. If all goes as planned, that may be in the first half of June!