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Ross County start covid testing as training nears return

Ross County have begun testing players with Celtic expected to follow suit this week.

Ross County start covid testing as training nears return SNS

Ross County have begun testing their players for covid-19 as Scottish Premiership clubs gear up for a return to training.

Celtic, who like County bought their own testing unit, are also beginning their screening programme this week but clubs have varied in their approach to going back to training.

The Scottish Football Association’s suspension of all football activity will be lifted on Thursday for top-flight clubs only but they are only allowed to train under the same restrictions as the rest of the population under the Scottish Government’s phase one of lockdown easing.

That allows two players or one player and a coach to train together outside in a specific area while still physically-distancing, so does not require testing to begin immediately.

County however have already put their machine to use, writing on Twitter: “We were delighted to start our internal Covid-19 testing this morning will all players and staff being required to be tested by our team, assisted with help from external medical personnel.”

St Johnstone are awaiting the arrival of a testing machine from South Korea and will start screening next week ahead of a return to training.

Dundee United players are due back on Monday and will not immediately be tested. The regulations could change from phase two, which will not be implemented until June 18 at the earliest.

Head coach Robbie Neilson told the BBC’s Scottish Football Podcast: “The players have been keeping themselves ticking over and will come back in on Monday. Initially we thought we would have to get them tested but we found out because we are in phase one (we don’t have to).

“It has changed quite significantly in the last couple of days because we were worried about having to get tested and get the machines coming in and how we could do it. Now we can gear up for training on Monday, they will be socially distanced, they will be in corners.”