Wolves have become the first Premier League club to install a drive-through coronavirus testing station for their players at their training ground. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo and his players returned to Compton for individual sessions last week. It is understood Wolves players are yet to use the procedure but backroom staff have been tested.
The Premier League hopes the process will become the template for other clubs across the top flight. The procedure is carried out in the car park of Wolves’ training ground and takes less than a minute. It is part of a £4m agreement between the Premier League and Hong Kong-based genetic testing company Prenetics. The Premier League is hoping to resume the season on 12 June but a number of club doctors have raised concerns with league bosses. If training resumes before social distancing rules are relaxed, it is understood players will be tested for coronavirus twice a week and would be screened for symptoms every day. For the Premier League to complete the remaining 92 matches, that could be about 40,000 tests at a cost of about £30,000 a week. Training grounds will also be optimised for social distancing and hygiene levels. In addition:
- Players must arrive at training grounds in kit and wear masks at all times.
- They must not shower or eat on the premises. If clubs want to provide players with food, it must be delivered as a takeaway to players’ cars.
- Only essential medical treatment will be allowed, with all medical staff in full PPE.
- All meetings and reviews must take place virtually and off-site.
Premier League club officials met on Monday to continue talks on ‘Project Restart’ after the UK government announced no professional sport, even behind closed doors, will be staged in England until 1 June at the earliest. Players and managers will be consulted on proposed medical protocols for a return to training by the Professional Footballers’ Association and League Managers Association over the next two days, before meetings with the Premier League on Thursday. If the measures are accepted, an initial phase of group training could begin next week. The German Bundesliga is set to become the first major league in Europe to return to competition on 16 May. All matches will be played behind closed doors.