Bernardo has reflected on Albion’s return to training and says: “It’s good to be back.”
The squad have been working in small groups of five for the past week in phase one of the Premier League’s Project Restart, which the league hopes will see the season concluded behind closed doors from next month.
Bernardo said: “It’s the first step, but I’s been good to be back after such a long time.
“It’s been quite a different routine. We drive to the training ground already dressed, we know where to park, get tested and then pick up our kit for the rest of the week. We had to be there on time because if we are late it would affect everyone. Then we train in groups of five, keeping our distance, which was a bit weird.
"But at the end of last week, once we’d got used to a different routine, I had a good feeling. It was good to be training again and seeing my team-mates, even though we couldn’t get close, and to touch the ball.
Bernardo says getting used to the unusual routine, with physical contact training not allowed at the moment, has not been easy.
“Observing social distancing has been difficult,” he said. “Football is a contact sport, even more so for me as a defender. I want to tackle, to have contact with the opponent. And, in the squad, there is always physical contact – usually we’re always hugging each other, high-fiving – but in the middle of a pandemic you have to be self-aware.
“The normal behaviour isn’t the right thing to do. It goes against our instincts, but you have to show control and have the guidelines at the back of your mind and we have done that.”