Bristol City’s players have returned to their Failand training base for small group training sessions.
Individuals have spent the lockdown period working on fitness regimes from home and have not worked as a team since the last match against Fulham on March 7th.
A maximum of five players and a coach are allowed to train on the same pitch at the same time, and EFL protocols mean that close contact scenarios such as tackling are forbidden for now.
But Head Coach Lee Johnson is planning sessions accordingly and says he is delighted at reaching this milestone.
I'm absolutely buzzing! It was great to see everyone, and you do miss them. They are like the kids. They are young, vibrant, athletic, committed and they are a team. That’s something you all want to be a part of is the camaraderie that comes in a team environment.
Among other measures, players and staff will now submit a health questionnaire and temperature reading every morning before training.
They will also have staggered arrival times and a one way system to walk to and from the car park.
The other protocols:
Players and staff will be subject to an ongoing EFL designated COVID-19 testing programme
Designated and appropriately distanced parking spaces
Alcohol-based hand sanitiser upon entering and leaving the training ground
Players and staff arriving in training kit and washing kit themselves at home each day
Any balls and equipment used being disinfected before the next player takes to the training pitch
Players and staff brining their own water bottles and supplement drinks to each session
Any injuries assessed without being touched and players sent home for further isolated treatment
Players returning to their respective cars immediately after their individual session has completed and head straight home, with no car sharing
It’s definitely been a challenge and we’ve had time to plan but the goalposts have changed a lot, so what I may have written down for a session a couple of weeks ago has had to change three or four times since.
After the first session yesterday Lee Johnson said: "It went well and the boys were in good shape so I was happy about that. The social distancing element isn’t easy.
"Even things like spitting, players spit because of the proteins which build in their mouths and they have to clear their airways so it’s important we stay clean and concentrated on protocol.”