Italy’s Serie A clubs will start team training from May 18, the government said on Monday in a boost for plans to resume the season.

Clubs had been allowed to train on an individual basis with players having half a pitch to themselves.

Serie A has been suspended since March 9 and the government has yet to decide if it will allow the season to be completed but Monday’s announcement was a step forward.

The government said its technical-scientific committee had conducted a close examination of the protocol which the Italian football federation (FIGC) plans to implement to ensure training can be conducted safely.

“The committee’s indications, which are to be considered stringent and binding, will be sent to the FIGC for the necessary adjustments to the protocol so as to allow the safe resumption of team training from 18 May,” the statement said.

Spadafora said that the protocol was insufficient and threw doubt on whether the season would be able to restart.

The FIGC has said that for the start of team training, each club should form a group of players, technical staff, doctors, physiotherapists and other staff who have tested negative for the virus and isolate them in a summer-style training camp.

Players who have previously tested positive and since recovered will be undergo additional medical tests to find out if there are underlying health issues or side effects. There are 12 rounds of matches still to play in Serie A plus a number of games from previous rounds. Title holders Juventus are one point clear of Lazio at the top.

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