(Reuters) - Players will be able to use outdoor team training fields for solo workouts from next Wednesday, Major League Soccer said on Friday as the sport takes its first steps towards a return to action following the shutdown forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like most North American sport, MLS shuttered operations mid-March and a league wide moratorium on group and team training remains in place through May 15.
Players will not be allowed access to club facilities, including locker rooms, gyms or training rooms.
MLS emphasized that all individual workouts, which are voluntary, must be conducted in compliance with detailed health and safety protocols in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts.
Even just getting back onto the pitch will not be easy.
Teams must first submit to MLS a club-specific plan that outlines how the team will implement protocols.
Individual workouts will be staggered with each player getting a designated parking spot to maintain maximum distance between vehicles.
Players and staff will be screened with temperature checks on arrival and must wear personal protective equipment coming on and off the field, which will be divided into four quadrants with a maximum of one player per quadrant.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Pritha Sarkar