The Bundesliga, Germany’s top flight football league, has had its return postponed to 22 May at the earliest by the German government.

It was previously hoped that the league would begin on 15 May, however Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel has enforced a two-week quarantine on all teams before restarting the action.

Due to this, the earliest the league can begin is 22 May, however the restart of the Bundesliga could be pushed back another week.

If it goes ahead as planned, the Bundesliga would be the first of the five major European domestic leagues to resume following the mid-March stoppage due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Portugal, Poland and Hungary will all be restarting their national leagues at the end of May.

Germany’s professional teams have been training in small groups since mid-April, and have had to follow strict safety precautions, including extensive testing of all players and coaching staff. The German Football League (DFL) has submitted a health safety plan for when games resume. The games will not have spectators, and players will have to be regularly tested, however entire squads will not have to be quarantined following positive tests.

If a player is infected, the measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus will be up to the local health authorities.

On 4 May, the DFL revealed that 10 positive cases had been registered in a blanket test of 1,724 players and staff at its 36 first and second division clubs.

A second round of tests will be carried out in the next week. The DFL said these may result in “isolated positive test results.”