Junior hockey World Cup: Quarantine exemption for visiting teams

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Junior hockey World Cup: Quarantine exemption for visiting teams
© Provided by The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Teams arriving in India for next month’s FIH men’s junior hockey World Cup will be exempted from quarantine, the country’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) informed on Friday. The international participants will, however, have to follow strict health safety Covid-19 protocols including pre-arrival RT-PCR tests conducted within 72 hours of their departure for India and mandatory on-arrival test at the airport for teams coming from Europe and West Asia.

As many as 16 teams – hosts India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Korea, Egypt, Belgium, Poland, South Africa, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, France, USA, Canada, Chile and Argentina – will participate in the World Cup scheduled from November 24 to December 5 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. India, who are the defending champions having beaten Belgium in the final of the 2016 edition at home, will open their campaign against France on November 24.

In a letter addressed to joint secretary, sports, L S Singh, his counterpart in the MoHFW Lav Agarwal wrote: “We may exempt all participants from these countries from mandatory home quarantine requirements provided that a) It shall be ensured that the pre-arrival RT-PCR Covid-19 test for all participants is conducted within 72 hours of departure and b) The participants arriving from Europe and Middle East would be tested on arrival in India. They shall give their samples and exit the airport.”

Agarwal further stated: “All the participants will self-monitor health for 14 days after arrival in India and, if they develop any symptoms suggestive of Covid-19, will isolate themselves and report the same to the event organisers/nearest Covid health facility/National or State helpline.”

In a separate letter issued by the Deputy Director General (DDG) of Disaster Management Cell (DMC) of the MoHFW, Pradeep Khasnobis, the official informed that since England has been replaced by Poland, “the international participants from Poland are also exempted from mandatory home quarantine requirements to participate in the World Cup.”

England had withdrawn from the event citing Covid-19-related travel restrictions in India and the subsequent 10-day mandatory quarantine for travellers arriving from the UK. Earlier, Australia and New Zealand had pulled out of the World Cup due to Covid-19 induced travel restrictions.

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