Who will be inside stadiums when Premier League returns

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LONDON (Reuters) – The English Premier League season will resume on Wednesday without fans after a three-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following are the people allowed inside stadiums as well as the protocols and requirements for clubs to host matches:

* All the remaining games will be played without fans.

* A maximum of 300 people — including broadcast staff, written media, commentators, doping officials and scouts — will be allowed inside stadiums on matchdays.

* Stadiums will be split into red, amber and green zones with each team’s red zone pass holders to include 20 players, 12 coaching and medical staff and a further five “essential staff”.

* The amber zone will include non-essential staff, such as analysts, while all others will be placed in the green zone.

* Players will undergo COVID-19 tests at their club’s training ground before travelling to stadiums for matches.

* Teams will take the field separately, not side-by-side, and games will feature drinks breaks midway through each half.

* Players will line up for the Premier League anthem in a staggered formation rather than form a straight line as before.

* There will be no pre-match handshakes between teams and no handshakes at the coin toss.

* There will be no ballboys or ballgirls and players will have to use spare balls placed around the pitch if a match ball goes into the stands.

* Players must maintain distance during goal celebrations.

* Players cannot spit or clear their noses on the field of play.

* Players must avoid mass confrontations with opponents and cannot crowd match officials.

* Players should use their own water bottles and make use of hand-sanitisers before and after every match.

* Medical staff will wear protective equipment when treating players.

* Substitutes and managers on the bench will not be required to wear masks and players do not have to wear them when entering the stadium or dressing room.

* Teams can have nine players on the bench instead of seven and can make five substitutes during a match, instead of three.

* The technical area for managers will be reconfigured to allow for greater social distancing, as will team dugouts.

* Corner flags, goalposts, substitution boards and match balls will be thoroughly disinfected before games.

* Clubs will be encouraged to travel by plane and avoid staying in hotels before games.

* Clubs are expected to use at least three coaches for matchday travel with drivers who have already undergone novel coronavirus tests.

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