Bio-bubble is a confined area in which the team and their staff members are allowed to move in. It’s an arrangement made during the Covid-19 Pandemic for sporting events to minimize the risk of the Covid-19 infection.
This area includes the team and their families’ accommodation, training grounds, stadiums, or any such construction where athletes’ presence is required. This safe and secure environment prohibits teams from shooting an advertisement, leaving the hotel, or meeting the visitors.
What Are The Benefits Of Bio-Bubble?
Bio bubble is a prison, not a regular one but a five-star prison where sportsperson, their family, stakeholders, and others reside to prevent contact with the outside world safeguarding themselves from the covid-19 outbreak. It mitigates the risk of transmission of the virus by enforcing strict protocols.
What Leads To The Beginning Of The IPL Bio-Bubble Breach?
To understand What Is A Bio-Bubble, we need to understand what is bio bubble fatigue? It is but natural for anybody to get tired of the monotonous routine and limited activity.
To conduct the match with all the precautions the players of the team are required to remain cooped up in the biosecure environment for more than two months leading them to be mentally exhausted.
Bad performances and infights act as a cherry on top of the cake leading players to drop out of the tournament.
As per the reports two players and a coach got infected by the covid-19 virus at the airport terminal. Some reports also stated that food deliveries were allowed which was the reason players tested positive.
While some other reports stated that two players of the KKR, Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive due to Varun’s exit from the bio-bubble through the green zone to take a scan of his shoulder. Later, three players of the CSK team including CEO Kasi Viswanathan and bowling Coach L. Balaji also tested positive.
On questioning the authorities, they stated that the covid-19 second wave is in the air and board reports state that no breach has taken place.
Will BCCI Allow WAGS In IPL 2022 Bio-Secure Environment?
An important question that stands in front of the BCCI is that will it allow players’ wives and girlfriends in IPL and if it does so then what SOPs are required to be followed?
BCCI allowed WAGS citing it will be a criminal offence to keep the team away from its family releasing stricter Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) required to be followed by players and their families.
What Are The Standard Operating Procedures Enforced By BCCI?
To make sure that everyone sticks to bio bubble protocols, BCCI has issued stringent SOPs to be followed, violating which will impose heavy penalties. Though the spread of the covid-19 seems under control, BCCI is not in a mood to take things lightly and thus issued the following sanction:-
The Sanctions For The Bubble Breaches By A Player, Team Official, Or A Match Official Will Be As Follows:
First offence: 7-day re-quarantine or such other period as may be provided in the Health & Safety Protocols during IPL 2022 (without pay for the number of matches missed).
Second offence: One match suspension (without pay) to take effect after the completion of the 7-day re-quarantine or such period re-quarantine as may be provided in the Health & Safety Protocols during IPL 2022 (without pay).
Third offence: Removal from the Registered Squad for the rest of the season – no replacement allowed.
For a family member:
First offence: 7-day re-quarantine for the family member or such other period re-quarantine as may be provided in the Health & Safety Protocols during IPL 2022 and 7-day re-quarantine for the relevant Player, Team Official or Match Official or such other period re-quarantine as may be provided in the Health & Safety Protocols during IPL 2022 (without pay for the number of matches missed)
Second offence: Permanent removal of the friend or family member from the bubble for the rest of the season and 7-day re-quarantine for the concerned Player, Team Official or Match Official or such other period re-quarantine as may be provided in the Health & Safety Protocols during IPL 2022 (without pay for the number of matches missed).
Other Breaches And Their Sanctions Are:
Breach: If a franchisee is unable to field a team for any match due to having less than 12 Players available – 11 in the playing XI (of which at least 7 must be Indian) plus 1 substitute fielder
Sanction: BCCI, at its discretion, will attempt to reschedule the match for later in the season. If this is not possible, the issue will be referred to the IPL Technical Committee. The decision of the IPL Technical Committee will be final and binding.
Breach: Wilfully allowing any person into the Bio-Secure Bubble to have contact with the Players &/or Support Staff without that person going through the 7-day quarantine or such period as provided in the Health & Safety Protocols during IPL 2022 and negative test protocols as provided in the Health and Safety Protocols during IPL 2022 or failing to put in place adequate procedures to control unauthorised access to the Bio-Secure Bubble.
First offence – A fine payable by the Franchisee to BCCI of INR 1,00,00,000 (Rupees One Crore Only)
Second offence – deduction of 1 point Third and subsequent offences – each a deduction of 2 points.
Breach: Unauthorised departure from the Bio-Secure Bubble of a Player, or a family member of the same, resulting in a need for the Player to re-quarantine for 7 days or such period as provided in the Health & Safety Protocols during IPL 2022.
Sanctions: A fine payable by the Franchisee to BCCI of the pro-rata League Fee that would have been paid to the Player if he had been available for the match(es) during the re-quarantine period.
Breach: Other breaches of the Health and Safety Protocols during IPL 2022 (e.g. non-provision of the “must-have” facilities in the hotels, training facilities & ground transportation).
Sanctions: BCCI will work with the franchisee to effect compliance. If there are further persistent breaches, the BCCI will make a Complaint to be heard under section 6 of these Operational Rules.
Not just that, there will be sanctions prescribed for those missing the Covid tests. While the first offence will attract a warning, subsequent offences will lead to a fine of Rs 75,000 per offence. The offender will also not be eligible to enter a stadium or training facility until the missed test is performed.
The Health & Safety Protocols section of the Operational Rules states: “Franchises and other entities responsible for the individual What Is A Bio-Bubble Bio-Secure Bubbles may impose their code of conduct to deal with breaches by members of their bubble for protocols such as hand washing/sanitization and respiratory etiquette.
Persons Subject To These Operational Rules should also be aware of the applicable laws in India regarding the wearing of masks and social distancing and the imposition of fines if any.”