All players and officials will have to undergo at least one mandatory COVID-19 test at all World Tour events and the major championships, said the Badminton World Federation as it published safety operating procedures for the resumption of the sport amid the pandemic. A day after launching the readjusted international calender, the governing body published its safety protocols and operating procedures document and protocols as it looks "to create the safest possible environment for all stakeholders".
"To ensure the safest possible environment for players and entourage BWF will be implementing a COVID-19 testing plan for each Major Championships and HSBC BWF World Tour tournament," BWF said in a release. "All players and team entourage will be required to undertake COVID-19 PCR tests at each Major Championships and HSBC BWF World Tour tournaments ... There will be at least one mandatory test per player per event."
The governing body said "accreditations for tournament personnel will be divided into three categories or 'bubbles' – green, orange and red. Participants in the green category must be tested for COVID-19 before leaving their home country and present a negative test result upon arrival to the tournament destination. Accreditation passes will only be issued for each tournament to green category personnel once a negative test has been obtained.
"Procedures will be in place to ensure minimal contact between the bubbles – particularly those in the green category and those participants not tested. Any breach of the BWF guidelines and protocols will result in accreditations being revoked and participants not permitted to enter the venue."
The people in Orange category (stakeholders who are likely to come in contact with players and their entourage) and Red category (who will not come in conatct) will not be tested but subjected to temperature checks. The apex body also advised "teams and participants entering tournaments during the European and Asian legs" to "not return to their home countries as many would then have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period upon their return. A two-week transition time to move the tour and all participants from Europe to Asia safely including a necessary quarantine or screening period has been factored in."
The Thomas & Uber Cup Finals (October 3-11) will be the first tournament to be held since March when the global health crisis had forced the cancellation of all events. "International participants for the TOTAL BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals 2020 are not required to undergo quarantine upon arrival in Denmark – just a negative COVID-19 test and relevant travel documentation," BWF said. "BWF will also arrange practice facilities in Denmark and for the location of the screening period, plus Asian leg tournaments to support teams and players."
The governing body also laid down some pre and post-match protocols for the players and team entourage. "Instead of shaking hands, players can touch rackets with their opponents and nod/put their hand across their chest when greeting the match officials," it said. "A shuttlecock dispenser will be provided at each end of the court. When a player wants to change a shuttlecock and is allowed to do so by the Umpire, the player can take a shuttlecock from the dispenser and return the used shuttlecock to the Service Judge with the racket or drop it into the shuttle box."