Coronavirus checkpoints possible as ECB considers behind-closed-doors resumption

The England and Wales Cricket Board has indicated it could install coronavirus checkpoints and isolation units at grounds this summer in order to resume the game behind closed doors.

The ECB has acknowledged there will be no professional cricket until May 28 at the earliest, but it is stepping up its planning for a potential resumption of international action with no spectators.

The ECB’s director of events Steve Elworthy told the Guardian that such an eventuality would essentially require a sterile bubble to ensure the identification of anyone in the vicinity who was carrying the virus.

England v Australia – Second Test – Day Five – 2019 Ashes Series – Lord’s
Cricket may return in a sterile bubble, according to the ECB (John Walton/PA)

“We’re mapping out what international matches would look like behind closed doors,” Elworthy told the Guardian.

Alluding to the government’s initial advice prior to the current lockdown, he added: “The advice around mass gatherings was 500 people or fewer.

“That was guided by the potential impact on critical services like paramedics and doctors.

The ECB Board has agreed that no professional cricket will be played in England and Wales before 28 May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

— England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) March 20, 2020

“You would likely have to work within that number [which would be made up of essential matchday staff]… then you have to think about medical provisions, creating a safe and sterile environment around that venue, so that everyone who comes in is clear.

“So it’s how you test them at the gate, the isolation units that you have to put in. These are considerations we are thinking about.”

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