Bundesliga teams isolate before restart

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Bayern Munich Training

Champions Bayern Munich are among the teams poised for a return to Bundesliga action this weekend

German soccer teams have started the week in isolation, going into seven-day quarantine before the Bundesliga season restart on Saturday.

However, club bosses say completing the campaign amid the coronavirus outbreak will not be easy.

The German Football League (DFL) decided last week to resume the first and second division from May 16 after a two-month suspension, making it the first major European league to attempt a restart.

Meanwhile, La Liga president Javier Tebas said he hopes Spanish soccer will resume on June 12 after being halted for more three months.

German teams have been sent into mandatory seven-day isolation after testing for the virus in order to reduce the risk of infection before playing in empty stadiums with only a handful of staff and officials, to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Several clubs have elected to stay at their training centre or at hotels near their home grounds while others have moved to more isolated hotels in the countryside - with bottom club Paderborn spending the week in a nearby thermal springs town.

Some clubs are holding sessions in their stadiums to help players acclimatise to matches behind closed doors, which will be the case for the remainder of the campaign.

Plans to restart, however, suffered a setback on Saturday after the entire team of second-tier Dynamo Dresden was placed in two-week quarantine following two positive coronavirus tests.

"We always expected that the remainder of this season will not be trouble-free," Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told the Funke media group.

The league, desperate to complete the season by June 30, has drawn up a detailed set of regulations for training and matches, including stringent testing that helped it get the government's green light to restart.

In Spain, all clubs in the top two divisions began testing players for the virus last week with five positive for COVID-19.

The league confirmed the positive tests but said it was not going to alter the practice protocol that got under way last week - the second step of the league's four-phase protocol for returning to action.

Tebas confirmed all matches would be played without spectators and he said the league was working on ways to add to the atmosphere, although he did not give details.

He also said fixtures would be spread out so that there are matches every day.