Stadiums to be split into 'zones' as Premier League returns

London (AFP) –


Premier League stadiums will be divided into three zones when the season resumes behind closed doors, West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said Saturday.

The Premier League will resume on June 17 after a three-month absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Clubs met on Thursday to discuss logistics and safety protocols, with Brady saying stadiums would be divided into red, amber and green zones.

"Red zone will be the most severely restricted area, including the pitch, the tunnel, technical areas, changing rooms will be limited to 105 people maximum, to include players, coaching staff, match officials and all the essential staff only," Brady wrote in her Sun newspaper column.

"And only those who have tested negative for COVID-19 in the past five days can enter this area...

"The amber zone will be restricted to the minimum number of staff required to meet contractual requirements for broadcasting, media and club staff... And anyone entering this area will be subject to a temperature check and a health questionnaire.

"And the green zone is the stadium exterior, eg car parking."

Players have been told they must not shake hands, spit or share drinks, while social distancing will be observed even in the dressing room and showers, with a 15-minute limit for pre-match talks by managers.

"A new strict accreditation process will be developed, including an isolation room should someone unfortunately develop symptoms of COVID-19 whilst within the stadium," Brady added.

Television viewers will have access to 360 degree replays and pre-match tunnel shots, while players' shirts will feature the logo of Britain's state-run National Health Service.

"So we are in good shape," Brady said. "We are ready. We are raring to go."