Personal hygiene is top priority as DFL and DFB issue broadcast guidelines ahead of Bundesliga return

Rules stipulate fewer people on site, a change of layout inside OB trucks and no crew catering

The German Football League (DFL) and the German Football Association (DFB) have issued a revised set of health and safety guidelines for Bundesliga match coverage as they look to protect production crew and allow matches to resume safely this weekend.

The stipulations, published in a document entitled ‘Medical concept for training and match operations in professional football in the context of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic’, are based around three common principles: consistent hygiene, a sense of responsibility and minimal overlap in time and physical proximity.

The DFL considers that ‘personal hygiene measures are the most important actions for protecting against infection.’

The Bundesliga is due to resume this weekend following an eight-week hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent social lockdown with all matches to be played behind closed doors.

The aim of the guidelines is to protect each employee and to completely separate TV production as much as possible from the sports side of the matches, the document says.

But it acknowledges that the aim is not to “guarantee the 100% safety of all participants” as this is likely to prove impossible.

Instead, the idea is to ensure a medically justifiable risk based on the significance of football in societal, sociopolitical and economic terms and on the development of the pandemic.

All the measures are built on the strict premise that there is no resulting competition with the general population over COVID-19 prevention resources.

Key components of the guidelines for crew:

  • All crew will be tested before entering a stadium using a symptom questionnaire and body temperature measurement. If the health criteria are not met then access will be denied
  • All crew will be asked to sign and execute a “statement of health” including adhering to the hygiene rules
  • All crew will observe basic hygiene measures including sanitising hands, cough and sneeze hygiene and distancing
  • For travelling to the ground, carpooling and the use of public transport will not be permitted
  • Face masks will be ‘generally required’ after entering the stadium exterior and in all areas. They should completely cover the mouth and nose
  • Observance of a minimum distance for camera positions and in the media stands will be required
  • Hand disinfection should be used before and after each use of shared equipment “especially broadcasting technology”
  • There will be no on-site catering
  • Time spent on-site will be reduced to the minimum required

Trucks and compound

A diagram showing the standard layout of an OB unit (left) and the revised layout in ‘coronavirus” operation’ (right)

The layout of OB trucks will also be different with significantly fewer work stations to comply with the rules on distancing and the use of Plexiglas partitions where social distancing is not possible.

The guidelines say that “confined spaces should be ventilated three to four times a day for ten minutes each, with production ideally taking place with doors open.”

At the same time, equipment surfaces and door handles are to be cleaned by the service provider with a surface disinfectant prior to the start of production and after setup on production day.


Communications will be subject to limitations too with private conversations to be avoided “since they tempt you to undermine the distancing guidelines.”

Discussions should occur via email, phone or the OB technology communication ring if possible.

Discussions that are absolutely necessary should be “held in as small of a group as possible, be as short as possible, and held at a maximum speaking distance.”

In addition, a maximum of 300 people will be permitted to be inside the entire stadium premises at any one time – that number includes players and coaches and stadium staff as well as TV production personnel.

Read the full guidelines:

The report was authored by the Sports Medicine / Special Match Operations Task Force in order for German professional football to further deal with the impacts of the coronavirus.

It was led by Prof. Dr Tim Meyer, medical director of the Institute of Sports and Preventive Medicine at Saarland University and team doctor for the German national team.

The first Bundesliga matches of the re-started season will take place on Saturday 16 May.

Dynamo Dresden, in Germany’s second tier, will not play their first two games after the playing squad was quarantined for two weeks following two players testing positive for coronavirus.


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