With IPL 2021 scheduled to resume in the UAE on September 19, here's a lowdown on the bio-bubble protocols - as put down in the BCCI's Health & Safety Protocols - that players and others will have to adhere to.
What are the prerequisites for travelling to the UAE for IPL 2021?
Everyone making the trip must take a RT-PCR test 72 hours before their scheduled departure. If the test is negative, they may travel to the franchises' cities of choice.
Do the players who are already in biosecure bubbles qualify for bubble-to-bubble transfers?
Players, support staff, commentators and broadcast crew travelling directly from the biosecure bubbles created for the England vs India series, Sri Lanka vs South Africa series and the Caribbean Premier League can move directly from one bubble to another. They need not serve the mandatory quarantine period in the UAE provided they satisfy the following criteria.
After the conclusion of their respective series, they continue to remain in their biosecure environments and are transported in the team buses straight to the airports, where they are exempted from immigration and other formalities.
A chartered aircraft is booked exclusively for them to travel to Dubai.
Upon arrival at the Dubai airport, the team buses pick them up from the tarmac and drop them at the team hotels, thereby preventing contact with people outside the bubble.
All such individuals will have to undergo one RT-PCR test on the day of arrival. If the test report is negative, they will be allowed to join their respective teams.
What about the others?
Other participants will have to quarantine for six days upon arrival and undergo three RT-PCR tests, on days two, four and six, before being allowed to train or participate in IPL matches. Entry into the bubbles would only be permitted after confirmation that all three test results are negative.
Do players need to be fully vaccinated before reaching the UAE?
It is not mandatory but advisable for all participants to be fully vaccinated before they travel to the UAE. But irrespective of the vaccination status, all participants will have to follow the protocols, including quarantine and testing during the tournament.
All individuals within a bubble will be tested twice a week during the second week and thereafter every fifth day for the entire duration of the tournament.
What happens if an individual tests positive for Covid-19?
Any participant - player or others - testing positive for Covid-19 will have to isolate for a minimum of 10 days. The individual will be tested on day nine and day ten. Two consecutive negative RT-PCR tests taken 24 hours apart, full resolution of symptoms, and no use of medication for more than 24 hours are mandatory for re-entry into a bubble.
To account for any false positive tests resulting from historical infections, serology tests and repeat RT-PCR tests may be conducted.
How can a player visit hospitals for scans and other treatment?
The BCCI will engage a medical services provider that will have hospitals equipped to handle all medical requirements of the players and others. For hospital visits, Green Corridors would be created to ensure minimal contact with outsiders, so that players and others are able to return safely to their biosecure bubbles.
How many biosecure bubbles will there be?
In all, 14. Eight bubbles for the eight teams, three for match officials, and three more for commentators and broadcast crew.
Does the saliva ban continue?
Yes, no change there.
What if the ball goes into the stands?
If that happens, or the ball goes out of the stadium, the ball will be replaced. The original ball, when recovered, will be sanitised and placed in the ball library.
What if there is a breach of the biosecure bubble protocols?
Breach of any such protocol by franchise members or their families would be subject to disciplinary action by the BCCI.