NHL unveils its COVID-19 protocol
The National Hockey League (NHL) on Tuesday unveiled its requirements and recommendations regarding COVID-19 for the 2020-2021 season.
Since players will stay at home when they are not on the road, health and safety measures are all the more important.
When traveling to a foreign amphitheater, teams may travel with a squad of up to 50 individuals, which includes players, coaches and staff. These will be separated into sub-groups, and certain areas will be closed to them.
Only one hotel per city will be chosen by the league, so that the regulations are always respected. The athletes will not be able to use the gymnasiums, swimming pools or saunas of the various accommodation places.
In Canada, everyone will obviously have to observe a 14-day quarantine after their arrival in the country.
There will obviously be no restrictions during practice, but off-ice sessions will be limited to groups of 10 players. During physical efforts outside the rink, athletes will also be required to respect a minimum distance of three meters.
A doctor specializing in infectious diseases and an agent responsible for ensuring compliance with sanitary conditions must follow the team at all times. The latter will have to ensure that individuals comply with basic regulations such as wearing a mask, washing hands and daily symptom control, and can crack down on this.
The NHL also recommends that hockey players avoid unnecessary contact with people other than family. Going out to restaurants, crowded places and public transport are therefore to be avoided for players.
Members of organizations will be able to walk or train outside the arena or hotel wearing a mask, but will not be allowed to interact with the public.
For other exceptions, such as the presence of members of the media or fans during matches, the league will adhere to the recommendations of public health organizations in different regions. This is also the case for family members, who would be isolated from other supporters, if this is the case.
In the event of a positive COVID-19 test, a player will need to be placed in isolation immediately, and their last contacts will be closely observed. If this was in fact a false-positive result, two additional tests, each 24 hours apart, should be given.
An individual who has been affected by the coronavirus will be able to resume the normal course of his activities after 10 days, if he is still asymptomatic.
According to the Sportsnet network, the identity of the players who have tested positive will be revealed by the Bettman circuit, except during training camps, which was not the case last season.