Ahead of IPL 2021, the IPL GC has specifically chartered the health and safety protocols, which lays down everything that the franchises have to adhere to - from a seven-day quarantine period to no vaccinations for the players and a 10-day isolation period for positive COVID tests.
With the IPL starting on April 9, in six bio-secure environments across India, the IPL Governing Council have a bigger task in hand than it had in the 2020 edition of the tournament, which operated from three venues. Before the start of the tournament, the governing council has already laid down the health and safety protocols, which the franchises have to adhere to.
ESPNCricinfo reported that there will be 12 bio-secure bubbles, eight for the teams, two for match officials and two for broadcasters. Anyone operating out of the bubble would have to undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine period, where they would be tested twice before being allowed to interact with the others in the bubble.
Post-quarantine, every individual within the bubble "will be tested twice a week during the second week and thereafter every fifth day for the entire duration of IPL 2021 season," the guidelines stated, reported ESPNCricinfo.
However, a special exception is for the Indian and English players, who would be coming into the IPL from their bio-bubbles in Pune, so they don’t have to serve the mandatory seven-day quarantine period.
"Players coming directly from the bubble created for the India vs England series, may be permitted to join the franchise squad without serving the mandatory quarantine period, provided they satisfy the following criteria: After conclusion of the India vs England series, the players are moved directly to the franchise team hotel either in the team bus or on a chartered flight," the IPL said in the document.
For overseas stars, who are in a bio-bubble, the same rules and regulations apply for them, as they would be permitted to shift bubbles without the mandatory quarantine period. Meanwhile, the vaccination for the Indian cricketers is still unsure.
"In India, the first group to get vaccinated against COVID-19 included healthcare and frontline workers. The second group to receive COVID-19 vaccine will be persons over 60 years of age and persons between 45 and 59 years with comorbid conditions. The Government of India is yet to announce the schedule for vaccination of other groups of people including elite athletes."
In case of symptoms, the cricketers would have to undergo a 10-day isolation period before clearing two tests upon return. This year, following the issues from the last IPL, ESPNCricinfo has reported that the IPL has decided to appoint "up to four security staff" as the "designated bubble integrity managers".
"During the 10-days isolation, the individual will be tested on day nine and day 10. Two consecutive negative RT-PCR test results taken 24 hours apart, full resolution of symptoms, no fresh symptoms for more than 24 hours and no use of medications for more than 24 hours are mandatory for re-entry into the bio-secure environment. To account for any false positive tests due to historical infections, serology tests and repeat RT-PCR tests may be conducted."