As clubs fly to the Lisbon bubble for the Champions League home front, the belligerents have been given an extensive set of new rules to follow.
The coronavirus pandemic means that the rest of the knockout matches in the Portuguese capital will be played as one-legged tires on neutral ground, replacing the traditional two-legged home and away games leading up to the final.
But that’s not the only new procedure teams have to adhere to. Sportsmail looks at the very strict restrictions that the Champions League teams will follow while in Lisbon …
The quarter-finals of the Champions League start with a new twist on Wednesday evening in Lisbon
Like international teams at a World Cup or European championships, each team is assigned a hotel and training area that is separate from the rest of the teams. But this is not a normal hotel visit.
To prevent the spread of a possible virus, players are not allowed to leave the hotel unless the club has agreed in advance. That means no lunch strolls or a trip to the shops for last-minute supplies.
For the clubs staying in Lisbon for an extended period, such as the two teams playing in the final on 23 August, short excursions are allowed, but social distance rules must be respected.
Champions League teams like Atalanta have to stay in their hotel room at all costs
At the hotel, players must have their own room, which means there are no roommates or late-night chats between teammates.
Players, coaches and staff have designated dining areas in the hotel, but food must be provided by the club’s nutrition team.
Also, the food cannot be handed to the players and coaches – it must be left on the table for the players to collect.
Players cannot do the dishes after the meal, it must be done by hotel staff.
In the meantime, all laundry should be done by team personnel and not by hotel staff or the players themselves.
Players are not allowed to leave their hotel complex unless agreed in advance
The Champions League teams will run several coronavirus tests before each match to make sure they don’t spread the virus on the field.
Each team did a Covid-19 test before flying to Lisbon and also took one upon their arrival in the Portuguese capital.
They will do one more test the day before each game and the results must be presented to UEFA six hours before kick-off. There is also a temperature control and a more basic Covid-19 test when they enter the stadium on match day.
Atletico Madrid’s Sime Vrsaljko (left) and Angel Correa (right) tested positive for coronavirus
If a player tests positive in any of these tests, such as Atletico Madrid duo Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko, then they cannot be part of the match day squad and must isolate immediately.
Teams must have at least 13 players available for each match – including one recognized goalkeeper – for the match to continue. If one team cannot meet this requirement, the other team will receive a standard 3-0 win.
If both teams cannot eliminate 13 players each, UEFA will try to reschedule the match.
Teams have also received a fixed amount of hydration supplements from UEFA, so that players do not spread the virus during training and matches.
Each club has been allocated 210 bottles of water to use per day, while only 90 bottles of Gatorade have been rationed to the competing parties, as well as 50 kg of ice.
In the stadium itself, each club must provide its own food before and after the matches and comply with hygiene regulations.
The teams were allocated 210 bottles of water, 90 Gatorades and 50 kg of ice per day
Travel before the match
The teams traveled to Lisbon via the VIP zones at airports in order to avoid contact with members of the general public.
The aircraft had to be disinfected before and after the players and coaches used it, and if they provide their own team bus, it should also be disinfected in the same way.
On board the buses and planes social distance must be followed, which means that some clubs have to take multiple buses to transport their 20-person squad plus coaches and club delegates.
When leaving the coach, they must use the middle door of the bus and not the front door in order not to come into contact with the driver.
Social distance must take place in the planes to Lisbon, including the flight of Atletico Madrid
Planes and buses must be disinfected, while players must exit the team buses through the center door
Teams have likely been scattered around the locker rooms to comply with social distance rules, but the players have lost several other benefits of the locker room lifestyle.
Jacuzzis, saunas, ice baths and swimming pools may not be used after the match due to hygiene regulations.
They can still get their massages and treatments from the club staff, but these beds, treatment tables and other fitness equipment must also be disinfected before and after use.
Players can’t just pick either side of the pitch and go through their various exercises – UEFA has set guidelines on which areas they can warm up for Champions League matches and which ones not.
The quick feet exercises must be done outside the playing surface at the side of the field, while the penalty areas cannot be used for warming up.
Warm-ups usually need to be done off-court to protect the playing surface
This means that goalkeepers cannot train in goal and have to go elsewhere to get used to the ball.
After the match, players who are not involved in the game – such as unused substitutes – tend to warm up to keep fit. Not anymore.
UEFA has said this is not allowed due to social distance rules, but also to protect the field, as matches are played every two or three days at the two Portuguese venues.
Players have also been told to leave the stadium as soon as possible after the game has ended.
Barcelona’s shuttle runs and quick drills should also be done off the field
When the teams come to the sound of the famous Champions League national anthem before the game, there’s one social distance rule they need to remember.
Players and referees must be one meter apart when lining up for the match.
Teams must be three feet apart before the game to respect the rules of social distance
Meanwhile, the coin toss involving the captains and match officials is done as normal, but with social distance rules.
Teams can trade club pennants if they wish, but are not allowed to trade shirts after the game.
After the game, UEFA officials select one member from each team to participate in an Anti-Doping Control to ensure that they or their teammates are not using illegal means.
This normally works when a UEFA employee watches a player produce a urine sample in a toilet after the game.
To keep a social distance, a mirror has been placed in the toilet so that the UEFA employee can see how the urine sample is taken, without coming too close to the player.
Anti-doping controls conducted by UEFA officials remain in the game despite Covid-19