The Phillies will return to Citizens Bank Park in a week, but resuming spring training will not be as simple as players dropping their equipment bags in the clubhouse and heading to the field.

First, they’ll be screened for the coronavirus and then self-quarantine for 24 to 48 hours. If all is clear, they’ll return to the ballpark. But no spitting, no high-fives, no water coolers, and bring your own pine tar, please.

Major League Baseball is attempting to begin its season amid the pandemic, and the plan to navigate a challenging season is detailed in a 101-page operations manual, covering everything from virus testing to where mascots are permitted to be during games. Baseball is returning, but it will be a bit different this season.

Spring training is scheduled to begin July 1 with the season beginning July 23 or 24 and ending Sept. 27. Here’s what you need to know:

How will players be tested for COVID-19?

One to two days before arriving to spring training, all players, on-field personnel, and a limited number of essential staff who must come in close proximity to players must complete a questionnaire that indicates if they may have contracted or have been recently exposed to COVID-19. Upon arriving at camp, they will undergo an intake screening that includes three components: a temperature check, a body-fluid sample of either saliva or oral/nasal swab to test if they are infected, and a blood sample to test for antibodies.

The individuals will then be required to self-quarantine at their spring-training residence for 24 to 48 hours. If the result is negative, they may report to spring training. If the test is positive, they will be instructed to continue their self-quarantine and monitor their symptoms.

The players and on-field personnel will have their temperature and other symptoms checked at least twice per day and be tested for the virus once every other day. They’ll receive an antibody test approximately once per month. They’ll also have to perform a self-screening every morning from home, recording their temperature twice on a mobile app. If their temperature is above 100.4 degrees, they’ll be instructed to self-quarantine and monitor their symptoms.

MLB will offer free testing for individuals who live with players, on-field personnel, and the staff members who must come in close proximity to players.

What happens if a player tests positive?

A player who tests positive for COVID-19, has confirmed exposure to COVID-19, or exhibits symptoms that require self-isolation can be placed on the COVID-19 Related Injured List.

Unlike the traditional injured list, there is no minimum or maximum length of placement. The players on the COVID-19 Related Injured List will not count against a club’s roster and they will receive salary and major-league service time to the same extent that would have if they remained on the active roster. The team, in coordination with local health officials, will conduct contact tracing to identify all other team and MLB-affiliated individuals who had close contact with the infected individual.

How will players be monitored away from the ballpark?

The players will be allowed to live at home, but they are instructed to avoid crowded restaurants, bars, or clubs where they would be close to others. The league will not restrict their activities but will expect them to “act responsibly” because the “careless actions of one single individual places the entire team at risk.”

On the road, members of the traveling party are prohibited from using public transportation, taxis, or ride-share programs such as Uber and Lyft. The traveling party is not permitted to leave the hotel to eat or use any restaurants -- even in the hotel -- that are open to the public. Hotels must provide a dedicated dining area in a private location for the team.

"Spring" training restarts July 1, with a lot of new rules because of the coronavirus pandemic.
JOSE F. MORENO / Staff Photographer
"Spring" training restarts July 1, with a lot of new rules because of the coronavirus pandemic.

When does spring training restart?

Players will report to camp July 1 with pitchers and catchers reporting before position players. Each team may invite up to 60 players. Camp will be divided into three phases: individual and small-group workouts, followed by full-team workouts, and concluding with a limited number of exhibition games against other teams.

What does the regular-season schedule look like?

Each team will play 60 games, 40 of which will be against its division foes and 20 against the matching division of the opposing league. For example, the Phillies will play 40 games against the National League East -- Braves, Mets, Marlins, Nationals -- and 20 games against the American League East -- Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles.

Will fans be allowed?

Not at Citizens Bank Park, but possibly elsewhere. Texas is allowing fans to fill 50% of stadiums, meaning fans could be in the stands for Astros and Rangers games. But that has not yet been made official.

Phillies announcers John Kruk (left) and Tom McCarthy will be calling home -- and away -- games from Citizens Bank Park.
NBC Sports Philadelphia
Phillies announcers John Kruk (left) and Tom McCarthy will be calling home -- and away -- games from Citizens Bank Park.

How will the games be broadcast?

The TV and radio broadcasts will both be at home games, but just the radio announcers will be allowed to travel. The NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcast team will call all 60 games from Citizens Bank Park, meaning Tom McCarthy will be doing play-by-play by watching TV when the Phillies are on the road.

The broadcasters will not be wearing masks when they are on the air, but the crew must. The broadcasters - just like the print media - will be unable to conduct in-person interviews but instead will be limited to video conferences, telephone calls, or headsets.

The camera feed will be the same for both teams’ broadcasts with the home team instructed to provide a neutral broadcast that covers both teams. This is similar to how the World Cup is produced.

What are the rule changes?

The designated hitter will be used in both the American League and National League, meaning pitchers will not hit this season.

Games won’t end in ties, but each extra inning will begin with a runner on second base. The runner will be the player in the lineup who precedes the inning’s leadoff hitter. If the runner scores, it will be an unearned run for the pitcher.

Position players may pitch at any point during the game as MLB will not enforce the rule introduced this offseason that was to allow position players to pitch only in extra innings or when the team is winning or losing by more than six runs.

All pitchers may carry a wet rag in their back pocket to be used for moisture in lieu of licking their fingers. Water is the only substance allowed on the rag and umpires will have the right to check the rag at any point.

MLB will be strictly enforcing unsportsmanlike conduct. Players or managers who leave their positions to argue with umpires, come within six feet of an umpire or opposing player or manager for the purpose of argument or engage in altercations on the field are subject to immediate ejection and discipline, including fines and suspensions.

What else is changing?

Any physical interactions (including high-fives, fist bumps, and hugs) must be avoided while at the ballpark. If the contact is unavoidable, individuals must wash their hands before and after any interactions.

Managers and umpires will still meet at home plate before the game, but they will not exchange lineup cards. The cards will be submitted electronically and printed by the umpires. The managers and umpires must stand six feet apart during the meeting.

Spitting is prohibited, but chewing gum is permitted. Throwing around the horn is discouraged. The duties of bat boys/girls and ball boys/girls will be performed by existing club staff and not by any minor person.

Everyone must be six feet apart during the national anthem and “God Bless America” and players on opposite teams should not socialize, fraternize, or come within six feet of each other before the game, during warm-ups, in-between innings, or after the game.

Pitchers should bring their own rosin bag to the mound, batters should have their own pine tar and batting doughnuts that they bring with them to and from the on-deck circle. After batting, players must retrieve their own equipment from the dugout before taking the field.

All non-playing personnel must wear face coverings at all times in the dugout and bullpen. Everyone must avoid touching their face with their hands, including to relay signs, wiping away sweat with their hands, licking their fingers, and whistling with their fingers.

What are the roster rules?

The transaction freeze ends at noon Friday, allowing teams to alter their roster for the first time since March.

By Sunday, each team must submit a list of 60 players who will be invited to spring training and eligible to play this season. The maximum roster size on opening day is 30 players. The roster will shrink to 28 players on the season’s 15th day and to 26 players on the 29th day. The trade deadline will be Aug. 31.

Teams will be allowed a three-player taxi squad that travels on road trips in case a need arises. One of the three players must be a catcher. They will not receive major-league service time and will be paid the minor-league rate.

Each club must maintain an alternative baseball facility where the club will house and train players in the 60-player pool who are not on the active roster during the season. They have to submit the proposed alternative site a week before spring training starts. Intrasquad games are allowed at the site, but no exhibition games.

High-fives? They're out! Here, Phillies' Corey Dickerson is greeted in the Phillies dugout during a 2019 game.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
High-fives? They're out! Here, Phillies' Corey Dickerson is greeted in the Phillies dugout during a 2019 game.

What about the clubhouses and dugouts?

Players active for the game and those likely to enter the game are to be in the dugout during the game. Inactive players may sit in auxiliary seating, including the stands, as long as they have six feet of personal space.

Water and drink coolers are prohibited and leaning on the dugout rail is discouraged, unless players use a clean towel as a barrier between themselves and the rail. Dugout phones are to be disinfected after each use.

Players will be provided with personalized iPads that they can watch in the dugout instead of watching film at shared terminals.

The lockers in the clubhouse should have a minimum of six feet of space between them. If that is not possible in the existing home and visitors’ clubhouses, the team should erect temporary clubhouses and lockers that are preferably outdoors or in areas with increased ventilation. Showering at the ballpark is discouraged, but not prohibited. There should be no saunas or steam rooms.

The use of batting gloves is encouraged, but the use of indoor batting cages is discouraged when hitting outdoors is feasible. The pitchers are to be provided with a personal set of baseballs during bullpens and multiple pitchers should avoid throwing bullpens at the same time unless necessary in-game. If they do pitch simultaneous bullpens, the pitchers should throw off every other mound.

Each person must have 36 square feet of personal space in the weight room and workouts should be staggered to accommodate such limits. Equipment should be relocated outdoors or to better ventilated areas if feasible. The use of gloves is encouraged, and players must rack and carry their own weights.

Food shouldbe eaten outside the ballpark whenever possible, such as providing postgame meals in to-go containers. Buffet-style and communal food spreads are prohibited. Players are discouraged from bringing outside food into the ballpark.

The Phillie Phanatic won't be allowed on the field.
YONG KIM / MCT
The Phillie Phanatic won't be allowed on the field.

And the mascots?

The home team’s mascot will be allowed into the ballpark, but they are not permitted on the field. The Phillie Phanatic will have to find a seat.