IPL 2021: Strict move by BCCI; more frequent testing, no outside food allowed in bio-bubble after Covid-19 spike

IPL 2021: Strict move by BCCI; more frequent testing, no outside food allowed in bio-bubble after Covid-19 spike
IPL 2021: Strict move by BCCI; more frequent testing, no outside food allowed in bio-bubble after Covid-19 spike

IPL 2021: The Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) has enforced stricter restrictions in the bio-bubble in place after record Covid-19 spike in India. Players and team officials will now be tested for the virus every two days, instead of once every five days as was the case till now. Though they have virtually no contact with the outside world, the BCCI doesn’t want to take any chances at this moment.

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In another major decision, the IPL has barred the players and others inside the bio-bubble from ordering food from outside the hotel where they are staying. There had been several instances when food had been ordered from joints and outlets outside the bubble. The BCCI had allowed such deliveries so that people don’t get bored eating the same hotel food for long.

But it was felt that this increases the risk of contact with individuals outside the secured environment and, therefore, infection.

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“Earlier in the tournament, we had permitted food deliveries from outside your designated hotels, but these privileges have also been withdrawn. Apart from this, we have also increased our level of caution to strengthen our bio-bubbles,” BCCI chief executive officer Hemang Amin informed all IPL teams.

This constraint will also affect those people inside the bio-bubble who used to get food from their homes or relatives in the same city even when they couldn’t physically go there. There had also been an instance of a five-star hotel charging Rs 500 each for an empty plate when food was brought from outside.

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After this restriction came into effect, some franchises have started having buffet counters for their teams inside the hotels.

The IPL had to reassure players and others inside the bio-bubble, especially those from overseas, who may have been unnerved by the rapidly rising coronavirus cases in the country.

The venues where the matches are being played – Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata – have seen a great spike in infections in recent weeks. At least four overseas players have withdrawn from the tournament citing ‘bubble fatigue’, anxiety over their personal safety and/or concern about how they will get back home as their countries have banned incoming flights from India.