Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed ‘football teams can resume group training from May 18,’ but it remains to be seen whether the clubs will accept the protocol.
The country is moving into the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic response and further easing lockdown measures.
“Yesterday we approved the new decree, which will enter into law from May 18 and signals the true start of Phase Two,” said Conte in a televised press conference.
“The curve is continuing to go down, the numbers are what we expected. We have started blood tests for antibodies and are in a condition to go into Phase Two with confidence and a sense of responsibility.
“It is a risk, but a calculated one that we must accept, otherwise we’d have to remain in lockdown until a vaccine is developed and we cannot afford to do that.”
From Monday, people can move freely within their region and meet up with friends, as long as they do not have coronavirus, while masks are still encouraged.
Inter-regional movement will remain limited until June 3, as well as movement across the border into the rest of Europe.
“From May 18, shops, salons, hairdressers, bars, restaurants, pubs, museums and football training will resume, but all by respecting the rules and with the Regional authorities checking that the norms are adhered to. From May 25, we will reopen gyms, swimming pools and sports centres.
“From June 15, we can reopen theatres and cinemas.”
There remain issues, because while the Government and the FIGC agreed a medical protocol for teams, the Serie A clubs and Players’ Association rejected it 24 hours later.
The Government version demands that the entire squad must go into a 15-day quarantine if one person tests positive for COVID-19, whereas the clubs and players would prefer to follow the model set by Germany and Spain that would only isolate the individual.
More meetings are planned and the Government will consider the changed version provided by the Lega Serie A.
There is a date pencilled in for June 13 to resume the games, but the Prime Minister was again hesitant when asked about that this evening.
“Before starting the season, we need a few more guarantees and, speaking to Minister for Sport Vincenzo Spadafora, we don’t have those at this moment. I hope they can be achieved as soon as possible.”