“Today’s a significant step in getting footy back for everyone, our fans, clubs players, coaches … and all who love the game,” McLachlan said on Friday afternoon.
“We know as the situation continues to evolve, we need to remain agile and flexible, to be able to adapt where necessary.”
The season was suspended in March, after just one round had been played, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The plan will see all teams return to non-contact training at their respective home bases today, before being extended to two sessions a week of contact training from May 25.
It means clubs will complete a three-and-a-half-week training block before the season reboots.
McLachlan said all players and returning football staff were being tested for coronavirus and undergoing education on the protocols in place to manage the risk of the pandemic.
He said the measures, which had been developed in consultation with health authorities around the country, involved every player being tested twice a week in training and playing.
“We have bi-weekly testing of every player at least 24 hours before the contact sessions and we’ll have the results back before they’re allowed to do contact sessions or play games,” he said.
The remaining 144 games and finals of the 2020 season will be released in blocks of four to six weeks, with the first block of fixtures to be released in 10 days.
McLachlan said the grand final was likely to be held in mid-to-late-October.
During the early part of the season, games will be played at AFL venues in states that have approval for full-contact training and matches.
The league’s four teams from Western Australia and South Australia will base themselves out of two golf course resorts on the Gold Coast, after their home states refused to relax quarantine restrictions for players flying in and out of their borders.
Fremantle and West Coast will complete pre-training at home before moving to the Gold Coast ahead of their first scheduled match, while Port Adelaide and the Adelaide Crows will move before May 25.
The four clubs will play a series of matches against each other and the Suns and Lions during early rounds.
Players forced to relocate to “quarantine hubs” will be allowed to host family members at their temporary accommodation, but must adhere to the same restrictions as their counterparts in other states.