UEFA lays down the Covid law as club competitions return

August 6 – Players taking part in the climax to the Champions League and Europa League have been warned by UEFA not to breach strict Covid-19 protocols.

The two tournaments are resuming this week after being halted in March and UEFA has sent out a detailed advisory ahead of the fixtures.

Clubs have been told their players must wear face masks “in all public places” when they are travelling and the use of charter flights “is strongly recommended”. Players have also been reminded to refrain from swapping shirts.

UEFA has rejected requests from some clubs – reportedly including Manchester United, Wolves and Inter Milan – to be allowed to fly in and out of Germany for individual games in order to avoid being around hotels for too long.

“UEFA expects all parties to adhere to hygiene best practices both in the controlled match environments, as well as in their private day-to-day lives,” the protocols read.

“It is imperative that all precautions set out in this document, as well as the standard hygiene best practices, will be strictly adhered to by all members of these various groups.

“Non-respect of such social norms could have serious consequences for the staging of international matches.”

The quarter-finals of the Champions League, being played as a mini-tournament in Lisbon, are between August 12-15 followed by semi-finals on August 18-19. The final will be played at the Stadium of Light on August 23.

As for the Europa League, the last-16 matches will be played on August 6-7 followed by quarter-finals in Germany on August 11-12. The semi-finals are scheduled for August 17-18 followed by the final on August 22.

“Players and everyone else involved should remember their actions, and adherence to the social distancing requirements in particular, not only to guarantee a safe environment to UEFA matches but also serve as a strong symbol for the millions of viewers around the world,” said UEFA.

“Football stakeholders have a collective duty to show leadership and set an example in the rigorous application of these measures. Non-compliance with the obligations set out in the UEFA protocol may lead to disciplinary measures in accordance with the UEFA disciplinary regulations.”

Following is a full list of the guidelines:

* With matches played behind closed doors, access will be granted to only players, club staff, match officials, accredited media and necessary stadium staff.

* The maximum number of people allowed inside the stadium will depend primarily on its size and restrictions imposed by the local government. Stadium staff should be limited to an “absolute minimum”.

* Stadiums will be divided into four zones (Zone 1: pitch and benches, Zone 2: pitch surroundings, Zone 3: tribunes and stadium interior and Zone 4: stadium exterior).

* No more than 120 people are allowed at a time in Zone 1, and no more than 100 people (including the teams) in Zone 2.

* Each team must appoint a medical liaison officer, preferably the team doctor, to ensure testing protocols and requirements are fulfilled.

* Each team must also appoint a protocol compliance officer to ensure travel, accommodation and hygiene and distancing measures are respected. The officer will travel with the team on away trips.

* Host teams must appoint a hygiene officer to liaise with authorities in reviewing and implementing protocols at the stadium.

* A minimum distance of 2 metres must be observed when social distancing at stadiums (or never less than local guidelines).

* Players have been advised against swapping shirts after the game.

* Club squads and staff will be tested two or three days before an away trip while the home team will be tested one or two days before the match.

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* Teams may be tested again the day before the match if required by the local authorities.

* Uefa will receive test results and they should also be delivered to the medical liaison officer 6 hours before kickoff.

* Uefa has recommended teams take charter flights in fully disinfected planes to minimise contact with the public and stay at hotels exclusively reserved for the visiting team.

* For stays during longer tournaments, teams must ensure their laundry is handled by one of their own staff instead of hotel staff.