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Arsenal players approved for training return under strict coronavirus measures

23:24 BST 25/04/2020
David Luiz Reiss Nelson Arsenal
The Gunners are poised to take a cautious step towards normality after being hit particularly hard by the pandemic

Arsenal have confirmed their players will be allowed to return to their London Colney training ground on Monday, but they must still abide by social distancing guidelines. 

Manager Mikel Arteta was one of the first high-profile cases of Covid-19 in the football world, with his diagnosis in March coinciding with the eventual suspension of the Premier League. 

Though the coronavirus continues to hit England particularly hard, the Gunners have been able to green light a partial return to training.

“Players will be permitted access to our London Colney training grounds next week. Access will be limited, carefully managed and social distancing will be maintained at all times," a club spokesperson said. 

"All Colney buildings remain closed. Players will travel alone, do their individual workout and return home.”

London Colney boasts 10 pitches in total, with everyone expected to be utilised to ensure players keep their distance from one another. 

Drills are also not expected to be overseen by coaching staff just yet as players are left to carry them out independently, according to The Guardian.

While plans over the Premier League's potential resumption this season remain unclear, UEFA have stated their desire for domestic campaigns to be completed if and when possible

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Arsenal were sitting ninth in the league, eight points shy of fourth-placed Chelsea but with a game in hand. 

Four Arsenal players were warned earlier this week about the importance of following coronavirus guidelines after being spotted in breach of the current rules around social distancing. 

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will be speaking to our players," an Arsenal spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Sun

“We were concerned so we have spoken to Nicolas [Pepe], who shares a house with a number of relatives who were involved in this game. We have reminded him of the importance of everyone following the guidelines.”

While the majority of clubs remain intent on completing the current Premier League season, the Eredivisie campaign was scrapped on Friday with no champion awarded and promotion and relegation not enforced, casting doubt on whether other competitions across Europe now face the same fate