In light of the grave Covid situation in the country, the Indian Premier League has imposed more stringent restrictions in the bio-bubble in place. Those inside will now be tested for the virus every two days, instead of once every five days as has been the case until now. Although they have virtually no contact with the outside world, BCCI does not want to take any risks at this time.
In another move to prevent infection, the IPL banned players and others inside the bio-bubble from ordering food outside of the hotel where they are staying. There had been several instances where food was ordered from joints and outlets outside of the bubble. The BCCI had authorized such deliveries so that people would not get bored eating the same hotel food for a long time.
But it has been believed that this increases the risk of contact with individuals outside the secure environment and, consequently, of infection.
“Earlier in the tournament, we allowed food deliveries outside of your designated hotels, but those privileges were also taken away. Apart from that, we have also increased our level of prudence to strengthen our bio-bubbles, ”Hemang Amin, CEO of BCCI, told all IPL teams.
This constraint will also affect people inside the bio-bubble who used to feed on their homes or loved ones in the same city even when they could not physically get there. There had also been a case of a five star hotel charging 500 rupees each for an empty plate when food was brought in from outside.
After the entry into force of this restriction, some franchises began to have buffet counters for their teams inside hotels.
The IPL had to reassure players and others inside the bio-bubble, especially those overseas, who may have been pissed off by the rapid increase in coronavirus cases in the country. The venues where the matches are played – Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata – have seen a sharp rise in infections in recent weeks. At least four foreign players have withdrawn from the tournament due to ‘bubble fatigue’, anxiety over their personal safety and / or worry about how they will return home, as their countries have banned inbound flights from India.