Premier League leaders Liverpool are back to work as manager Jurgen Klopp, his assistant Pep Lijnders and a handful of first-team stars arrived in Melwood early on Wednesday morning prior to the first day of back training in groups of five.
Star players, including Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Milner, were among a number of players who entered the training area in the photo.
Liverpool players have started group training for the first time since March 13 and the club has gone to great lengths to adhere to strict social distance rules and set up a one-way system in the complex to ensure no one crosses the path .
Jurgen Klopp smiles and waves to the camera when he arrives at the Liverpool training ground
Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum happily looked back on training
Trent Alexander-Arnold is depicted on the green grass of Melwood on Wednesday
Van Dijk gave a thumbs up to the camera and Georginio Wijnaldum grinned when they arrived for work. Liverpool’s Twitter account then shared a video of Wijnaldum working on his close control with no one around him.
Alexander-Arnold was caught on the club’s lush green training field when social distance learning began.
Midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was pictured on a glorious morning on Merseyside while again juggling a ball under a clear blue sky.
Liverpool’s return comes after the Chelsea players followed the new guidelines on Tuesday night, pictured working together in small groups on Cobham’s training ground.
Manager Frank Lampard and his assistants were present when the team members got back together, the work was mainly focused on fitness for the time being.
The Premier League Project Restart was boosted on Tuesday with just six staff in 19 clubs testing positive for Coronavirus from 748 tests conducted during the opening round of the screening.
Norwich only ran their tests on Tuesday because head coach Daniel Farke and several of the club’s German players did not return to England until Monday evening. They will receive their results Wednesday with a view to resuming training on Thursday.
The results came after the Premier League shareholders unanimously voted Monday for a return to socially distant training where players were allowed to team up in groups of five.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of the few Liverpool players on Wednesday
Liverpool star Oxlade-Chamberlain keeps an eye on the ball during practice
Liverpool vice-captain James Milner arrives early in Melwood on Wednesday morning
Officials needed a minimum of 14 positive votes to proceed to phase one of the return to training where all contact between players remains prohibited.
Burnley announced that their assistant manager Ian Woan was one of six positives, which was limited to three clubs. Watford confirmed on Tuesday evening that a player and two staff members tested positive.
Several other Watford players are reportedly refusing to train now after the club conducted three of the six positive Premier League coronavirus tests.
Club captain Troy Deeney revealed that he would not sign up for training on Tuesday, as he did not feel safe to return due to concerns about the health of his son, who has had breathing problems, and the increased risk of get the virus on BAME men.
As an indication of possible teething problems with the test procedure, Sportsmail has learned that the staff of various clubs have been expelled from their training grounds without being tested due to a shortage of kits.
Another complication was that some clubs were not using their full 40-set allocation, 12 of which had not been used from the original batch. The Premier League will increase the allocation of kits for each club to 50 for the next round of testing, which will take place on Thursday and Friday, with results to be published on Saturday afternoon.
Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum also signed up for training for the Premier League leaders
Defender Dejan Lovren enters Melwood on a sunny Wednesday morning on Merseyside
Corner flags, balls, cones, goal posts, playing surfaces and other equipment are disinfected after each session, while social distances must be ‘strictly adhered to’.
Stage two of training would allow contact between players, but Premier League clubs have yet to vote on when to take the next step. Phase three would be a return to competitive matches, which officials hope will happen in the second half of June.
Brighton, Newcastle, Southampton, Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Leicester, West Ham, Burnley and Crystal Palace all returned to group training on Tuesday.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton and Watford return to action on Wednesday.
Other rules in phase one include players who do not travel to or from training with anyone, while the use of public transport and team vehicles is prohibited.
Goalkeeper Alisson puts a thumbs up at the camera when he arrives with sunglasses
Stars have received an abridged version of a 40-page document with the new training session safety protocols, each of which will take up to 75 minutes.
While cautious to be ahead of themselves and unwilling to comment publicly, most clubs are happy with the first round of testing and relieved that with only 0.8 percent of tests returning positive, there is no massive outbreak among players seems to be.
The numbers are broadly similar to those in Germany, where there were 10 positives from 1,748 tests in the top two divisions when their players resumed training last month. Prenetics, the Hong Kong-based biotechnology company that conducts the Premier League tests, claims the tests are 98.8 percent accurate.