COLCHESTER United's players can return to training from next Monday - but only for 'individual socially-distanced sessions'.

In their latest statement, the EFL have stated that small group training cannot start next week, as there is currently no testing programme under way for clubs in League One and League Two.

But like other clubs in the third and fourth tier, the U's can make their Florence Park training ground pitches available for individual socially-distanced training sessions, providing they are in line with all the relevant Government guidance and Return to Training (RTT) protocols.

The provisions are in place with Nationwide Pathology to extend the testing programme into League One and League Two as required, depending on the final outcome of the season curtailment discussions.

Colchester's players have been training at home on an individual basis since the League Two season was suspended, in March.

They are waiting for ratification from the EFL and FA on the League Two season ending, as voted for by clubs last week, along with the confirmation of play-offs.

If that is confirmed, the U's will have a play-off to prepare for against Exeter City, likely to be in June.

The news on training sessions is part of the EFL's testing and return-to-training protocols issued today, with the first results from Covid-19 tests among Championship players set to be published on Sunday.

Currently only the second tier has indicated a collective desire to continue the 2019-20 season and tests were conducted on Thursday and Friday.

The EFL confirmed there will be a combination of testing procedures, made up of independent testing, some conducted by club medical staff and an element of players self-testing.

It said the accuracy of the tests would be within Government guidelines.

Players with League One and Two clubs have not been tested, and will therefore not be able to return to group training on May 25.

There is disagreement among third-tier clubs over whether to curtail the season or play on, while the cost of testing was among the factors which prompted League Two clubs to indicate they were moving towards ending their season.

The provisions are in place with testing company Nationwide Pathology to extend the testing to the lower two leagues if they do decide to play on, either in completing the regular season or the play-offs.

The EFL has published the return-to-training (RTT) protocols its clubs will be expected to adhere to.

It states the need for bi-weekly testing, and the maintenance of social distancing at all times when a member of staff is at a club's training ground.

Players will have their temperature checked and be asked to complete a medical questionnaire, communal areas of training grounds such as canteens must remain closed, but clubs may open kitchens to offer players the option to take food home.

The protocol recommends the introduction of a one-way system to avoid unintentional close contact, and asks all club staff to refrain from spitting.

Tactical meetings should be conducted via teleconference or video conference, and staff performing necessary treatment on players are advised to wear personal protective equipment (PPE).