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EFL Statement: Return to Training and Testing

edited May 22 in Swansea City
The EFL has provided its Clubs with updated and finalised Return to Training Protocols (RTT) ahead of the planned resumption of tailored training on Monday 25 May 2020 for Championship Clubs, and moved to clarify the League’s approach to the testing of players and subsequent reporting.

The EFL has commissioned Nationwide Pathology to support the testing of EFL players and staff as part of the first phase of its RTT protocols, with initial testing for players, coaching and backroom staff in the EFL Championship commencing on Thursday 21 May and continuing throughout Friday 22 May 2020.

There will be a flexible approach to testing, with a combination of procedures conducted by independent testers, Club medical staff and some self-testing as required. The accuracy of these tests is aligned with Government guidelines and, for the avoidance of any doubt, availability to Clubs will not impact NHS testing resources or prevent other individuals from receiving a test as required.

The EFL will announce the following data at the end of the initial testing phase:

  • the number of tests undertaken
  • the number of positive cases (if any)
This first collection of data from the initial testing phase is unlikely to be available until Sunday 24 May 2020 and the EFL will publicly advise if any earlier. Please note: the EFL will not be releasing individual Club data.

The health, wellbeing and safety of EFL players, managers and staff has been at the forefront of the League’s discussions, scenario planning and decision making throughout this process and we will continue to consult with medical experts to ensure this is maintained as circumstances evolve.

Please note that there is currently no testing programme under way with Clubs in League One and League Two. As a result, small group training is not permitted to commence on Monday 25 May 2020 but, if required, Clubs in League One and League Two can make their training ground pitches available for individual socially-distanced training sessions, adhering to all the relevant Government guidance and RTT protocols.

The provisions are in place with Nationwide Pathology to extend the testing programme into League One and League Two as required, depending on the final outcome of the season curtailment discussions.

In respect of the RTT, the EFL has taken the decision today to publish the protocols in order to provide clarity and transparency on what is required and what is expected for all relevant stakeholders and particularly to aid understanding of the challenges amongst supporters. These are available here:

The protocols identify the relevant Policies and Procedures in respect of:
  • Arrival and preparation for players and staff attending a training ground environment
  • Training procedures
  • Warm-Down and Injury Prevention Programmes
  • Exiting the training ground
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Training Ground Hygiene Protocol
  • Media arrangements

Additional Guidance:
  • Accuracy of testing provided is not 100% accurate but is in line with Government guidelines and NHS standards.
  • These are private tests and will not have any impact on NHS testing resources or prevent other individuals from testing
  • There is no cost to the UK taxpayer for testing of EFL players and staff. Clubs will cover the costs of testing.
  • Every player or member of staff who attends the training ground, prior to entering the site, must complete a screening protocol to detect any symptoms in a manner devised by the Club Doctor.
  • Players and staff will also be required to complete a daily medical questionnaire submitted before arrival at the training ground on training days. If this is not submitted before arrival, access to the training ground will be denied.
  • Clubs may develop their own guidance documents for issuing to their playing and coaching staff. These must be based on the protocols as advised by the League.


  • I’m absolutely sick of all this shit,oh our poor footballers! They’re all under 30 fit as a fnnn fiddle and as got as much chance of catching the virus as they have of catching the clapp! 
  • Sorry il rephrase it catching it and actually spending time in hospital and dying from it!
  • Football is re-starting too early.
    Even though the clubs are paying for players' and staff testing, this is not fair on asymptomatic key workers who can't get tested by just walking up for a test. Players shouldn't be able to skip the queue because "football" can afford it - we shouldn't re-start until everybody can get a free NHS test. They are not a special case.

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