From smartphone door access to isolation rooms: Here's how Old Trafford is preparing for bio-secure Tests

Steve Davies, the operations director at the Lancashire, gives an insight into the arrangements being made for the two matches between England and West Indies.

Manchester's Emirates Old Trafford is being prepared as a bio-secure site.   -  AP

The Emirates Old Trafford ground, home to the Lancashire County Cricket Club, is currently housing the touring West Indies team in quarantine for 14 days, and it will host the second and third Tests against England from July 16 following the series opener at the Rose Bowl from July 8.

Steve Davies, the operations director at the Lancashire, gives an insight into the bio-secure arrangements.

Q: What are some of the specifics when it comes to turning Emirates Old Trafford into a bio-secure environment?

A: We are able to strictly monitor access and egress into the site, as well as restricted zones within the ‘bubble’ environment. We’re ensuring every aspect of the venue is as clean as possible before staff and players arrive and we will continue with regular, rigorous deep-cleaning measures throughout the period [of the Test] as well.

For those needing access to the site, there will be stringent health checks in place, including COVID-19 testing, temperature checks and health questionnaires, which will be completed by medical professionals. We’re also delivering our food service with minimal staff to ensure we’re implementing this service in the safest manner possible.

In the event of a player testing positive in the middle of a match, are there isolation rooms being built as part of the venue planning?

The health and safety of everyone on site is our No. 1 priority, so we have isolation rooms in place, alongside strict cleaning measures. This is also the case for our own staff and team because we want to make sure we’re delivering these matches to the highest possible standard.

ALSO READ


As one of two Test grounds with an on-site hotel, what precautions will be taken to facilitate safe accommodation for the players and support staff?

We are enforcing the Hilton CleanStay policy, which is an industry-defining level of hygiene and cleanliness, so we are extremely confident that we are delivering these matches to extremely high and international standards.

There will also be only one person staying in a bedroom and we have separated the different areas of the hotel into designated zones for specific groups, so we can ensure social distancing. In terms of catering, we have made the decision to split food service across multiple areas to ensure there is no overcrowding.

As a hotel and venue, we benefit from contactless door access and digital room keys that you can access via your smartphone. We also have over 3,600 sq. m of intelligent conference and events space, so we’re able to utilise every area for a different purpose.

Is there the added motivation that if the on-site hotel can work for behind-closed-doors cricket, then it proves a model for a hotel working in a bio-secure environment?

Absolutely. At Emirates Old Trafford, we have an extremely unique offering given that we have everything that you could need on site, including our 150-bedroom Hilton Garden Inn, over 700 car-parking spaces, our intelligent event suites and innovative bridge links connecting the venues, so essentially you don’t even need to step outside. This has allowed us to prepare very thorough operational plans, all of which helps drive confidence and reassurance for guests when they are able to visit in what we hope will be the near future.

  Dugout videos