Substitutes will no longer have to wear protective face masks on the sidelines during Bundesliga matches in changes to hygiene measures announced Wednesday.

While fixtures in Germany’s top three men’s leagues and the women’s top-flight continue to be played behind closed doors, the rules are to be relaxed across the board from this weekend.

As well as replacements not having to wear masks during games, the number of non-rights holders media allowed into matches will be raised from 13 to 26.

“The adjustments have been checked and accepted by the Federal Ministry of Labour,” said the German Football League (DFL) and German Football Association (DFB) in a joint statement.

“They are to apply until the end of the current season.”

The German league became the first top European competition to resume in mid-May, after a two-month hiatus due to Covid-19, with strict procedures implemented which include regular testing of players and club staff.

The new amendments stipulate that replacements and coaching staff on the sidelines, as well as club officials in the stands, will be able to take off their protective equipment once “they have taken their seats at a distance of at least 1.5 metres from the next person”.

The same applies to the fourth match official.

The DFL and DFB said the new regulations will also apply for the German Cup final to be held in Berlin on 4 July.

Source: AFP