IPL 2020: This is the IPL's new normal
Days of players hitting the ground for training immediately, fans waiting outside the team hotel are long gone.
The Indian Premier League (IPL), the world's richest and most popular franchise cricket league, has well and truly washed up on these shores with six of the eight teams touching base during the weekend.
There was quite a buzz as most of the teams landed in Dubai while couple of the franchises arrived in Abu Dhabi. But it has all gone a bit quiet since then.
There is an eerie silence.
That is because of the alternate world we are now living in, in the Covid-19 era, the new normal.
Those days of players hitting the ground for training immediately, fans anxiously waiting outside the team hotel, mingling with fans, giving autographs and posing for pictures, are long gone.
The cricketers are now living in a new normal with words like isolation, quarantine, PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests and bio-secure bubbles becoming part of the vocabulary and their daily lives.
As part of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) set out by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the health protocols by the UAE authorities, the players, their families, support staff and the team management underwent PCR tests, prior to take-off from India.
Every member produced a negative Covid-19 PCR test report issued no more than 96 hours before they arrived in the UAE.
The teams then undertook a mandatory Covid-19 test at the port of entry in the UAE. The teams were also tested on arrival at their team hotels and resorts in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and are currently undergoing a week-long quarantine.
They will undergo tests on day three and six during their quarantine period. If all the three tests are found to be negative, the teams will go into the bio-secure bubble and will begin training.
There will be followed up tests every fifth day and there will be additional tests done when travelling from one city to another.
If, in case, anyone from the bio-secure bubble tests positive for Covid-19, the person will be immediately shifted to another hotel or facility and will undergo a 14-day quarantine, if they are asymptomatic. If the case if severe, the person will be immediately hospitalised and contact tracing would begin.
Following the 14-day quarantine, the person will have to get two negative results before they can re-enter the bio-secure bubble.
PROTOCOLS TO BE FOLLOWED BY TEAMS:
* Players and staff of each team to undergo mandatory Covid-19 test at UAE airports
Protocols on arrival:
* One-week quarantine
* All tests can be collected 24 hours after sample collection
Testing timeline on arrival:
Day 1: Test 1 on arrival at team hotel
Day 3: Test 2
Day 6: Test 3
* Players and staff of each team to remain quarantined in their hotel rooms for seven days
* If all three tests are negative, players and team support staff will enter and remain within the bio-secure environment for the IPL
* Follow up testing: Every five days
* Additional testing: Will be required for matches in another city
* Travelling from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, everyone has to present a negative Covid-19 PCR Test report issued no more than 48 hours before reaching the check post
In case of a positive test:
* If the case if severe, the person will be immediately hospitalised and contact tracing would begin.
* Following the 14-day quarantine, the person will have to get two negative results before they can re-enter the bio-secure bubble.
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