In agreement with the National Association of Basketball Players (NBPA), the NBA decided to tighten, for a minimum period of two weeks, its policy to prevent coronavirus. The information was released by American ESPN on Tuesday afternoon. The decision was made due to the increase in the number of infections by Covid-19 among players in the past few days, in addition to the growth in the number of athletes away because they were potentially exposed to the virus in the league assessment.
Among the new rules that make up the new and reinforced protocol, the following stand out: greater supervision in relation to the use of masks among athletes and members of technical commissions in any environment of the gym other than the court; restraint on hugs, greetings, touches and any physical interactions before and after games, unless players do so with elbows or fists; veto social interactions during games, such as touching hands between teammates after baskets or free throws.
Check Out More Details Of The New Policy:
- When in hotels, players are prohibited from interacting with guests who are not the technical staff of their teams.
- Players are no longer allowed to receive guests in their rooms.
- In-home games, players and members of technical commissions must remain in their homes unless they need to go to team-related activities, exercise, or seek essential service, as well as exceptional circumstances.
- Away from home, players and members of technical commissions should not leave the hotel, except in an emergency.
- Pre-match meetings in the locker room will be limited to 10 minutes and wearing masks.
Anyone who provides service or regularly attends the players ‘or technical committee members’ home should be tested at least twice a week.
- For flights, teams must create a seating plan so that athletes who sit closest on the bench during matches also stay close to each other on planes.
- All treatment sessions in hotels, such as massages and physiotherapy, must take place in spacious salons or open areas, with a minimum of 4 meters between individual stations. Face protection masks and face shields are mandatory for everyone present during the sessions.
- Players are prohibited from reaching the arena more than three hours before the start of the game.
- In the event that a team presents a positive case of a player or team member considered to be at high risk, the NBA may require players and staff to undergo laboratory tests for five consecutive days, twice a day, in addition to tests performed daily.
Also according to American ESPN, the match between Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic, which would take place next Wednesday, has been postponed. This was therefore the fifth postponement in the 2020-2021 season. In the past three days, the increase in cases has led to the postponement of three matches, as the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat were left without the minimum number of players (8) to dispute their commitments.
Faced with a much more challenging reality than the performance of last season’s sequel in the controlled environment of the Disney bubble, the league’s summit met with the Players’ Association on Tuesday to define this new approach to the policy of preventing coronavirus.
- On December 23, the day after the season opened, the league postponed the premieres of Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder. There was a positive case at the Houston Rockets, in addition to the breach of the Covid-19 prevention protocol by the Texas team.
- On Sunday (10), the protocol left the Miami Heat without the minimum number of athletes available, and the Florida team’s game against the Boston Celtics was postponed.
- On Monday (11), the NBA postponed Dallas Mavericks v New Orleans Pelicans, as well as Boston Celtics x Chicago Bulls, which would be played on Tuesday, also due to the protocol against the coronavirus. On Sunday (10), Dallas even closed its training center because of the confirmation of two positive cases among players.
- On Tuesday (12), the NBA postponed the game between Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic.
Understand The NBA Contact Tracking Policy.
The contact tracking policy created by the NBA gives the league the freedom to set aside and set timetables for the return of players who have been in contact with an infected person or who have been in some way exposed to the coronavirus. In this process, the league does not compromise if a player has already had Covid-19, which explains the recent removal of star Kevin Durant.
As some players had a positive result shortly after they acted, the question arose regarding the propensity to walk away from all players involved in the game in which the “positive” player was on the court. The league explained that it is practically impossible to transmit the virus during a match because according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the risk is due to close contact (distance less than 1.80m) and for a significant period (at least 15 minutes).