Ready protocol for international soccer matches

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The Minister of Sports, Hernán Solano Venegas, released on Tuesday the “General guideline for holding international soccer events within the framework of the COVID-19 alert”, issued by the Ministry of Health to be applied by the Costa Rican Federation of Soccer and its affiliates, as well as the organizing committees during friendly matches and official competitions in Costa Rica and when national delegations enter the country.

The guide – prepared in an inter-institutional manner by the Ministries of Health and Sports – aims to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Among other guidelines, the health guide contains preventive measures for the entry of foreign teams into the country, transfer in vehicles of delegations, accommodation, rules of conduct during competitions and stay in the national territory, cleaning and disinfection.

It emphasizes that the delegations that arrive on national soil must carry a proof of negative result of the RT-PCR test for detection of SARS-CoV-2, taken less than 48 hours before starting the trip to Costa Rica.

In addition, all members of the delegation must have travel insurance, national or international, that covers accommodation and medical expenses generated by the COVID-19 disease.

In the case of members of the Costa Rican delegation who have participated in meetings abroad, a PCR-RT test for SARS-COV-2 must be performed on the sixth day after returning to the country, and visits to places such as shopping centers are prohibited. supermarkets, visiting family or friends, attending any type of social activity or meeting.

The teams will be obliged to prepare a document where each of the persons in the delegation will sign this commitment to social isolation, with the understanding that failure to comply with the rule will cause them to open a disciplinary process and the consequent isolation order.

Here is a summary of the content of the guideline:

Coordination. The Costa Rican Football Federation must previously coordinate with the Ministry of Health on the visit of international delegations. You must inform about personal data, travel itineraries and any other necessary information about the delegations.

Players with flu or respiratory infection symptoms should not travel or report to the airport.

Transfers. The transport –which must be for the exclusive use of the delegates– must comply with the cleaning and disinfection requirements with special emphasis on handles, railings, belts, seats, driver’s cabin, dashboards, mirrors, and others. Likewise, passengers must have a mask at all times, they will not be able to share seats and they must not make stops during transfers.

Lodging. The members of the delegation are prohibited from leaving the hotel facilities to carry out activities that are not typical of the competition. They will not be able to make visits to other rooms and any essential diligence (market purchases, pharmacy, etc.), must be made by a member of delegation designated for such purposes. All protective measures must be taken into consideration and food must be brought to the rooms.

Conduct during encounters. The matches will be held behind closed doors, the players can remove their masks in the meeting and warm up. In addition, group celebrations that encourage, handshakes, hugs or physical approach between the players at the time of a score are not allowed. At the end of the game, the greeting between the players and governing bodies should be avoided, they should go directly to the dressing room area. The exit of the facilities must be done by the authorized transport and will be direct to the lodging site.

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