The Aspetar Clinical Guidelines published in June, with many specific recommendations related to return to training, including general considerations related to indoor training where physical distancing is even more important, and guidelines on how to reduce the risk of infection, including the proper cleaning of gym- and other equipment.
The approach to training should focus on ‘get in, train, get out’, keeping in mind physical distancing and minimizing unnecessary contact in changing rooms, bathrooms and shared areas. The training content and activity depends on the phase: individual training with 1-2 players, group training with less than 8 players or full team training phase (11v11 players). Clubs and individuals should apply a graded return to football to mitigate injury risk and understanding that sudden increase in training load will predispose to injury.
Appropriate hydration during and after training is important—drinks bottles must be available, but with physical distancing in mind. Each bottle should be clearly labelled to avoid confusion.
Players should comply with the current Government regulations on masks. It is now compulsory to ALWAYS wear a mask when leaving the house in Qatar—also during sports training. Players should leave the hotel wearing their training kit, and there should be a clean kit laid out for them to travel back and to the hotel after their session if necessary.
A number of individuals from different Aspetar and Aspire departments representing different specialties are formulating the COVID-19 return to sport guidelines as a reference for the sports healthcare practitioners and different sports clubs in Qatar.