Bubble to Bubble transfer and vaccination: BCCI releases COVID-19 protocols for upcoming IPL

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Amartya SharmaUpdated: Mar 20, 2021, 05:49 PM IST


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The BCCI said that the players involved in the India vs England series can directly join the bio-bubble without undergoing a quarantine period.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have permitted Bubble to Bubble transfer for the upcoming Indian Premier League. BCCI released a document talking about Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and bio-secure protocols in the IPL. 

The BCCI said that the players involved in the India vs England series can directly join the bio-bubble without undergoing a quarantine period.

"Players coming directly from the Bubble created for India vs. England series may be permitted to join the franchise squad without serving the mandatory quarantine period, provided they satisfy the criteria of moving directly to the franchise team hotel either in the team bus or on a chartered flight (sic)," the BCCI stated in the document. 

"If chartered flights are used then all protocols for crew members must be followed. If the travel arrangements are to the satisfaction of the BCCI Chief Medical Officer then such players will directly enter the franchise team Bubble without the need to serve a quarantine period or undergo an RT-PCR test," the note added.

"Prior intimation to IPL Chief Operating Officer is mandatory if the teams are exploring the above mentioned travel arrangements. If BCCI Chief Medical Officer is not satisfied with the strict adherence to the travel protocols by any of the players, all such players will have to quarantine for 7 days and return 3 negative RT-PCR results for tests taken on Day 2, Day 5 and the morning of Day 7
before entering their respective franchise Bubble," it added. 

A total of 12 Bubbles will be created. Eight of them will be for the franchise teams and support staff. Two bubbles will be for the match officials and match management teams and two more Bubbles for broadcast commentators and crew.

The Indian cricket board will be appointing four Bubble Integrity Managers with each franchise to keep a check on the breach of the Bio-Bubble. "Their job will be to report any Bio-secure Environment protocol breaches by members of the franchise team to the BCCI Chief Medical Officer," the note said.

The board also clarified that vaccination for the players involved will not be possible. 

"The vaccination program against COVID-19 is underway in India and vaccines are currently being administered to the at-risk population viz. front-line workers, health care professionals, people over the age of 60 years and those between the ages of 45-59 years who have comorbidities like cardiac ailments, diabetes, cancer, etc. Until most of the population is vaccinated and immune to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, precautions will need to be taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the community," the note said.

The document released by the board also clarified the safety related to the cricket balls that will be used in the league. The saliva will still not be applied to the ball. It read: "New scientific study of cricket balls as potential vectors of the novel coronavirus showed the risk of transmission to be very low. If the cricket ball goes in the stands or outside the stadium, the 4th umpire will provide a replacement from the library of cricket balls. The previous ball when returned will be sanitized with alcohol based wipes and/or UV-C by the 4th umpire and placed in the library."