Major League Soccer allows players to return to teams’ outdoor training grounds for individual training starting Wednesday.
MLS suspended the season due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 12, closing all team facilities but asking players to stay in the market with their teams. The league-wide moratorium on group and team training remains in effect until May 15.
MLS says individual workouts must follow certain health and safety protocols. Workouts are voluntary and must also follow local public health and government policies.
MLS teams must submit a specific plan for training protocols before players are allowed to begin training. They will include restriction of facilities to essential personnel, disinfection and disinfection of all equipment after each session, screening measures, including temperature checks, and staggered arrivals and departures of players and staff, as well as ‘a designated car park which ensures good distance.
Players are still not allowed access to indoor facilities, such as the dressing rooms.
Players must wear personal protective equipment when entering and leaving the pitches, while staff must use such equipment – masks and gloves – at all times. Staff must also maintain a distance of 10 feet from players at all times.
Training fields can be divided into four quadrants, allowing multiple players to train, but only under guidelines that restrict contact and ensure social distancing.
Team plans must be approved by team medical staff and a local infectious disease expert and must be submitted to MLS and communicated to players.
Teams should also put in place contingency plans for any coronavirus-related issues that may arise, including positive tests.