SPORT NEWS; OFFICIAL: Serie A To Resume Training From May 4 And In Groups From May 18

Italy will move into Phase Two of the coronavirus pandemic response from May 4, so players can train individually from May 4, in groups from May 18, while the Government announced a raft of new measures.

The pandemic began in Italy with the first positive test on February 20 and 26,644 people have since died with conditions related to or made worse by COVID-19.

The death toll over the last 24 hours was ‘only’ 260, the lowest figure since March 14, having reached a peak of 919 on March 27, as the lockdown measures enacted on March 10 have taken effect.

“You have all shown strength, courage, sense of responsibility and community. Now the phase of living with the virus begins for everyone and we must be aware that during Phase Two, there is the risk we’ll see the curve climb in some areas of the country,” said Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in a press conference.

“It’ll be even more important to maintain social distancing, at least one metre. Even when seeing family, we must still maintain this precaution, because the scientists tell us that at least one out of four infections come via family members.

“If we do not respect social distancing, the curve will climb again, so will the number of deaths, and we will have irreversible damage to our economy. If you love this country, then respect social distancing.”

Phase Two will see the lockdown eased, some travel allowed within regions and greater freedom for outdoor exercise, but still maintaining social distancing guidelines and banning travel between regions unless necessary.

When it comes to football, that will mean individual training allowed from May 4, while they will be permitted to train in groups from May 18.

Players will also be regularly tested both with swabs and blood tests to ensure that if someone does become infected, it is spotted early and he is isolated.

The Government announced it will set a price-cap for protective masks to prevent price-gouging, at circa €0.50, removing VAT and leaving only the tiniest margin of profit for manufacturers.

“From May 4 and for the next two weeks, until May 18, we will confirm the social distancing guidelines, so travel should still be reduced within a region for unavoidable work or health reasons. However, we will also allow targeted family visits, but only targeted ones with social distancing and use of protective masks. There are to be no large family gatherings from May 4.”

Parks can also be opened up, but the local Mayors will have the power to shut them again if the social distancing guidelines are not maintained.

“Sporting activity can be performed while keeping a distance of two metres, whereas when simply walking, one metre will be enough.

“To allow a gradual reprisal of sporting events, from May 4 professionals and non-professionals (albeit recognised by the CONI) will be allowed to train. However, these training sessions must maintain social distancing guidelines.”

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