Foreign teams that will land in India for next month's FIH Men's Junior Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar have been exempted from quarantine and will only be required to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms during the stay.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare took the decision following a request by L S Singh, Joint Secretary in the Sports Ministry, earlier this month.
The Health Ministry, however, stated that all the arriving teams will have to follow necessary health safety COVID-19 protocols.
The FIH Men's Junior World Cup will be played at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from November 25 to December 5. Hosts India are the defending champions.
Some of the mandatory protocols which the visiting teams need to follow are pre-arrival RT-PCR COVID-19 tests for all participants, conducted within 72 hours of departure, and mandatory on arrival test at the airport for teams coming from Europe and Middle East.
"All the participants will self monitor health for 14 days after arrival in India and if they develop any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, they will isolate themselves and report the same to the event orgainsers/nearest COVID health facility/National or State helpline," Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal, said in his letter addressed to Singh.
Besides, all participants will have to minimise public interaction and follow COVID appropriate behaviour, like wear masks, maintain physical distancing, mantain respiratory and hand hygiene throughout the duration of the tournament.
The letter further states that in case any participant develops symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 during their stay in India, he would be subjected to RT-PCR tests and his contacts will be quarantined by the Department of Sports.
Besides India, other participating teams are Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, USA, Canada, Chile, Argentina and Poland.
Poland has replaced England, who withdrew from the tournament because of COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
While withdrawing, England had also taken note of the quarantine requirements in India for British nationals after similar restrictions were placed on even fully vaccinated Indians arriving in the UK.
The two countries subsequently withdrew the stiff isolation policies.