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Italy eases lockdown restrictions, Serie A clubs to resume training in mid-May

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Slowly but hopefully surely, Juventus will be coming.

Juventus Training Session Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

The day that the Italian government started to ease some of its strict lockdown rules as a result of the coronavirus pandemic slowing down in the country was looked as the time when Serie A clubs would be able have some hope of a season resuming.

The government decree in place ends May 3.

As we found out on Sunday, the government will start to ease lockdown restrictions come May 4.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced at a Sunday night press conference that Italy will enter Phase 2 of reopening the country that has been hit so hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Starting May 4, players will be allowed to train individually at the team facilities, meaning Juventus players will soon be arriving back in Turin if they had returned to their home countries after quarantine. Two weeks later, teams will be allowed to have players training in groups, albeit with the understandable caveat being social distancing happening during said training sessions.

With all of that being said, the current timetable that we have will likely put a potential restart of the 2019-20 season, one where Juventus leads Lazio in the standings, happening around June 1. When the games do start back up, as you can probably imagine, will be played behind closed doors with only essential personnel allowed in the stadiums.

Here is a portion of the transcript from Conte’s press conference:

“From May 4 and for the next two weeks, until May 18, we will confirm the social distancing guidelines, so travel should still be reduced within a region for unavoidable work or health reasons. However, we will also allow targeted family visits, but only targeted ones with social distancing and use of protective masks. There are to be no large family gatherings from May 4.”

“Sporting activity can be performed while keeping a distance of two metres, whereas when simply walking, one metre will be enough. To allow a gradual reprisal of sporting events, from May 4 professionals and non-professionals (albeit recognised by the CONI) will be allowed to train. However, these training sessions must maintain social distancing guidelines.”

(Source: Football Italia)

Conte has been very keen to not rushing to start to reopen the country after seeing so many of Italy’s most populated regions get absolutely slammed by coronavirus. As of Sunday, nearly 27,000 people have died in Italy due to COVID-19. And even now, two months after first positive test in Italy was confirmed and the curve has finally started to flatten and new cases are nowhere near where they once were, the daily death toll is still in the hundreds.

It was announced Sunday that 260 people died from COVID-19 over the previous 24 hours, the lowest total in over a month.

As far as we stand right now, most of Juventus’ non-Italian players have gone home, including all of the South American contingent outside of Paulo Dybala, one of the three players at the club who tested positive for coronavirus. Juve announced that the other two positive tests, Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi, have been cleared and returned to full health while news of Dybala’s full recovery has not been released to the public. Earlier this week, Miralem Pjanic was the first Juventus player who returned home that posted on social media that he had made his way back to Italy in preparation for training beginning.

Since Serie A Femminile was on an international break at the time of the coronavirus pandemic spiking in Italy, pretty much all non-Italian Juventus Women players were back in their respective home countries and have been adhering to the rules there, awaiting word on when they can return to Italy to resume training.