Image: Salford City F. Credit, Creative Commons:

The English Football League have announced that all 72 clubs, including Salford City, must now implement RED training ground protocols due to rising cases of the Omicron variant.

The new protocols include social distancing outside of physical sessions, restrictions on facility use, and daily testing.

Any player or staff member with a positive result will be required to take a PCR test and isolate in line with Government guidance.

However, the EFL will not be providing a weekly aggregate report on the number or tests taken nor the number of positive results.

This is due to the volume of testing however may vary from club-to-club, and the EFL will confirm if this results in the postponement of a fixture.

Following recent fixture postponements across the football league due to Covid-19, clubs will now be expected to play if 14 players, including a goalkeeper, are available. Fixtures will be maintained wherever possible, and clubs will be assisted in their deliberations.

The EFL encourages all players and members of staff to get fully vaccinated, with a booster jab, to help protect others and to minimise the risk of postponed fixtures.

Recent data has shown that 75% of players across the EFL are either fully vaccinated, have had a single jab, or intend to be vaccinated.

The EFL’s Medical Advisor, Dr Richard Higgins said:

“Further to enhanced medical guidance recently issued, in response to a growing number of COVID-19 cases and subsequent fixtures postponements in recent days, the EFL has opted to strengthen its protocols for all Clubs.

“Alongside enhanced protocols, the EFL continues to strongly encourage players and staff at Clubs to get fully vaccinated and obtain a booster jab if eligible to do so.”

The RED protocols can be accessed in full here.

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