The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League will take place in the United Arab Emirates from September 19 to November 10. It will be a 53-day event and will be played across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
The eight teams have laid down a rigorous list of dos and don'ts to be followed during travel, stay and training over the course of the T20 tournament. Among the SOPs, that Sportstar has access to, it is stated that in case anyone shows any symptoms, he needs to alert all the team members and immediately isolate.
Here's the complete list of SOPs to be followed by players and support staff to mitigate the risk of Covid-19.
- The players and support staff were quarantined for 7-14 days in India. Before travelling to the UAE, each person was tested every three days.
- Teams will be on a 14-day quarantine in Abu Dhabi, and six-day quarantine in Dubai.
- All players and staff were given flu shots before travelling.
- As part of both govt protocols, Arogya Setu and a local govt app called ALHOSN were downloaded and filled out compulsorily.
- Every accompanying family member to follow the quarantine protocol and live with the team for the duration of the tournament. Once in the bio-bubble, no one will be allowed to step out beyond designated areas that are sanitised and created as part of the bio-bubble.
- For security check, the main check-in luggage was sent in advance a night prior. The hand luggage was cling wrapped from the hotel and players and support staff were asked to remove all electronics in a laundry bag with their names to be kept in hand with passport etc.
- They were given two Hazmat kits for travel to be worn from the hotel. They were also advised not to eat, drink, touch, shop at duty-free or use public restrooms till the flight.
- The teams used a charter flight and the staff on board was tested at least twice. The staff was wearing PPE kits and throughout no food or beverages were served.
- Sandwiches and water on the flight were packed by teams in advance and served by the team staff.
- On landing, everyone was tested for Covid-19 at the airport and will be tested every three days from here on till Nov 12th.
- Room key cards were given in the bus before arrival at the hotel. Each bag entering was spray sanitised.
- All laundry bags, masks, Hazmat kits, gloves etc to be thrown before entering the hotel.
- As soon as everyone reached the room, the laundry was taken in 20mins. Each person took a shower and gave out laundry to ensure the clothes from outside didn’t touch anything else.
- During 6/14 days of govt quarantine, no housekeeping, no in-room servicing will be done. In the room, there is a QR Code for menu and beverages. Orders can be placed on the phone and they will be delivered in disposable plates. There is a fixed set of 30-40 items in a-la-carte and 15-20 breakfast items to choose from in the 24/7 room service.
- Outside the room, in the lobby, there are extra supplies of towel, toiletries, water etc but housekeeping can deliver these too.
- All staff serving the teams will be wearing mask and gloves. They will also be tested every three days and will not leave the hotel for three months. Also, the staff will not serve other guests and will remain in the team bubble/team's side of the hotel kitchen etc only.
- Wings have been cordoned off for players to make them feel at home. There will be a team room with games for destressing.
- There is 24/7 CCTV monitoring to make sure no one is moving from room to room during the quarantine.
- Based on BCCI protocol, teams will start training 15-20 days prior [to start of the tournament] during which teams will get tested, their equipment will be sanitised at hotel and stadium. There will be no storage at stadiums. Players will come, train and leave.
- Once training starts, teams will have one DNA person outside the bubble. In case they need anything, they can come to the hotel, get sanitised and then deliver the parcel.
- A tailor, barber and other amenities will be part of the bubble.
- As for sponsor shoots, teams will hire a local crew director, production, makeup etc who will be part of the bubble. However, each brand can have an additional director who can guide on what and how to shoot. All post-production to be done by the brand. The crew will shoot only on croma background. Each sponsor was individually informed of revised rights and certain carryforwards for multiple year deals.
- Local brands, vendors for water, drinks, buses and other transport etc were sought and explained the testing, sanitisation process and how they will need to adhere.
- An Oura Ring like in NBA, English Cricket, Football etc will be provided to all in the bubble allowing medical staff in the bubble to track the slightest symptoms online as and when they show up. Players and support staff are encouraged to focus on online team meetings. This would help in maintaining social distancing. Avoid large gatherings or huddles.
- Some franchises have developed internal groups and apps to monitor the movements. This will help in maintaining the bio-bubble.
- There will be regular use of hand sanitisers. In case anyone shows any symptoms, he needs to alert all the team members and immediately isolate. The person will then undergo the COVID-19 test.
- In case of an accidental bubble breach, the players and support staff would be put in isolation for a week and must clear multiple COVID-19 tests before being allowed back in. If there is a breach of bio-bubble and if it’s a wilful act then it becomes a contractual issue between the player and the franchises. It will be dealt with very seriously.
- Some franchises insist that in team buses, only one person is allowed to sit in every row. This will be done to maintain social distancing.
- All travelling person visa and travel insurance were done by the team in advance.
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