EFL clubs to implement 'enhanced red protocols' as Covid cases soar 7 months ago

EFL clubs to implement 'enhanced red protocols' as Covid cases soar

EFL clubs will implement tighter protocols and increased Covid-19 testing

The English Football League has instructed all its 72 clubs to implement tighter training ground protocols and increased Covid-19 testing as cases continue to soar.

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It follows the postponement of numerous scheduled fixtures because of positive cases at a host of clubs, with several clubs across England suffering from covid outbreaks.

Included in the regime is enhanced training ground protocols and increased testing, with the EFL also providing guidance on the minimum number of available players required to fulfil a fixture.

All 72 clubs will now be required to implement 'enhanced RED protocols' for first-team training sessions - which includes social distancing outside of physical sessions, along with restrictions to the use of indoor facilities, manual therapy and group travel, amongst others protocols.

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Clubs will be expected to implement a daily screening programme of testing, but that is subject to the availability of Lateral Flow tests. Any player or staff member with a positive test of symptoms will then be required to take a PCR test and isolate.

The EFL has also provided guidance on non-fulfilment of fixtures and confirmed that clubs would be expected to play where it has '14 players including a goalkeeper available from the Club’s registered squad list, Under 21 players not on the squad list but have played one League match, or any other contracted player not on the squad list but otherwise would have been eligible to play.'

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Much like the Premier League - who decide whether to postpone a fixture on a case-by-case basis - the EFL will review a club's circumstances once a report it filed with them.

A number of EFL fixtures have been postponed this week, with QPR's match against Swansea City the first to be cancelled on Tuesday.

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The Hoops also had to postpone their Championship match at Sheffield United on Monday due to an outbreak of cases.

Several matches due to be played on Saturday have already been called off, with the following matches all postponed:

Championship

  • Cardiff City v Derby County
  • Millwall v Preston
  • QPR v Swansea City
  • Reading v Luton Town

League One

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  • Gillingham v Crewe Alexandra
  • Lincoln City v Doncaster Rovers
  • Sheffield Wednesday v Accrington Stanley

League Two

  • Crawley Town v Oldham Athletic
  • Northampton Town v Barrow
  • Swindon Town v Walsall

Five Premier League fixtures have been postponed this week because of the virus, including Thursday's game between Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur, as well as Manchester United's match against Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday.

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