The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Saturday announced the bio-safety measures and exemptions that will be in place for the World Test Championship final, starting June 18 in Southampton. India and New Zealand will meet in the historic final at the Hampshire Bowl.
The ICC confirmed that India will arrive in England on June 3 and that their players and support staff will undergo managed isolation. However, the governing body did not mention the exact length of the isolation. New Zealand players, who are already in England for a 2-Test series against the hosts, will be transferred from the England and Wales Cricket Board bio-bubble to the WTC bio-bubble on June 15. New Zealand will play the 2 Tests against England between June 2 and 14.
India players and the support staff are currently undergoing a 14-day quarantine period in Mumbai following which they will head to the UK on a chartered plane with the evidence of a negative RT-PCR test for Covid-19. Notably, the India women's team, which will play a Test and 6 limited-overs matches in England, will also travel with the men.
"The event has now been granted an exemption by the UK government as outlined in The Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021, released on 17 May 2021," the ICC said in a release on Saturday.
"....Upon landing, they will proceed directly to the on-site hotel at the Hampshire Bowl where they will be tested again before commencing a period of managed isolation," said the ICC release.
Regular tests will be conducted during the period of isolation.
Some of the players like R Ashwin, Mayank Agarwal, Washington Sundar are now allowed to use the hotel gymnasium from May 25 after a week-long room quarantine and three negative tests.
However a few like skipper Virat Kohli, his white-ball deputy Rohit Sharma, all of whom joined late will have a complete room quarantine before boarding the UK flight. They have been provided with gym equipment inside their rooms.
India to remain in bio-secure venue in lead up to WTC final
In the UK, players' activity will be allowed in a gradually increasing manner after each round of negative testing, moving from exercise in isolation to small group and then larger squad activity, whilst always remaining within the bio-secure venue.
"Regular tests will be conducted during the period of isolation. Players’ activity will be allowed in a gradually increasing manner after each round of negative testing, moving from exercise in isolation to small group and then larger squad activity, whilst always remaining within the bio-secure venue," the ICC said.
The New Zealand team will move from the ECB bio-secure environment into the World Test Championship Final bubble on June 15 and will be subject to regular testing prior to and post arrival in Southampton.
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