The Bundesliga has been alerted to the increase in positive cases of covid, both in some clubs and among the German population in general, which has forced the Government of Angela Merkel to tighten restrictions to lower the incidence of the coronavirus. The group of professional clubs has decided to impose a quarantine on the teams of the first and second divisions to guarantee that the three remaining days of the competition can be held and thus avoid further postponements due to the proximity of the Eurocup, which will begin on June 11 .
The recent infections in Hertha Berlin and in three other second division clubs have finally decided to the German league, the DFL, that it was necessary to take more forceful measures to avoid cancellations. Hertha have had to postpone three games and stop training for two weeks due to the positive cases detected in the squad, including that of their coach, Pal Dardai. If there were more cases, there would be no time to finish the season before the Euro starts.
The plan promoted by the Bundesliga executive consists of two stages. In the first, all those people included in the regular PCR testing program, that is, the players, coaching staff and team personnel, must be kept isolated to avoid external contacts. They can only be at home with their family, in the sports center or at the stadium. This measure, considered a semi-quarantine, will become mandatory as of Monday, May 3. It is a restriction similar to the one that was implemented when the competition was resumed at the end of last year.
In a second stage, as of May 12, the 36 First and Second clubs will have to be completely isolated in a quarantined boot camp. Before entering they will do a PCR test in the previous 24 hours. A measure to guarantee the development of the last two days of the competition and reminiscent of the NBA initiative in July last year, when it proposed to restart the competition with 22 teams concentrated in the Disney World bunker for three months.
Germany is in the middle of the third wave of the pandemic and with a vaccination that progresses slowly due to the lack of immunizations. The cumulative incidence is 160 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, above the Spanish, which is 107. The situation has worsened in March despite the fact that most restrictions (such as the closure of the hotel trade) have been in force since November . In mid-February the incidence was around 65. Intensive care medical societies have warned that hospital ICUs are increasingly crowded and under too much pressure. “It is necessary to reduce contacts”, repeats the Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, at each appearance.
This will be applied by the German league, which ensures in a statement that the exceptions will be very controlled. For example, if someone has to leave training camp for personal or professional reasons – use the example of the team doctors – they will only be able to return if they take precautionary measures such as taking a rapid antigen test just before joining again. The DFL executive committee informed the clubs in March that it was considering launching this system, which it finally announced today. As of May 12, the players and the coaching staff of all the first and second division clubs will only be able to be in contact with each other.
Bayern Munich is the current leader of the Bundesliga, with 71 points, ten more than the second classified, Leipzig.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.