No handshakes or hugging, no spitting and no salon visits are among the guidelines the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) issued after a lockdown to contain the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) was extended. Athletes may train at stadiums but without spectators.
The athletes at the National Institute of Sports: Patiala (NIS-Patiala) and Sports Authority of India Centre in Bengaluru are, however, yet to resume outdoor training.
AFI asked athletes to train under strict social distancing guidelines and follow additional norms issued by the government "religiously".
According to the standard operating procedures (SOP), athletes are prohibited from training if they have flu-like symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, difficulty in breathing, fatigue, or if they have been in close contact with someone who showed such symptoms.
The AFI has issued an SOP in detail mentioning specific categories like who cannot go for training, what to do before going for training, what safety measures to follow during training and procedures to follow after training.
The guidelines also state how use of the equipment, responsibilities of coaches, and how to deal with outside world and everyday life
Who cannot go for training:
- If an athlete is having flu-like symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, difficulty in breathing, fatigue etc.
- If an athlete has been in close contact with someone around you who showed above-mentioned flu-like symptoms or tested positive for Covid-19 in last 14 days.
- Inform immediately Chief Coach/Deputy Chief Coach or HPD about your sickness or if you have come in contact with any sick person.
- The athletes must be aware of his/her timings for outdoor training & weight training session.
- Use of disposable gloves by athletes is highly recommended. For relay athletes practicing baton exchange, use of hand gloves is mandatory.
- The guidelines state that athletes should always wear full sleeves T-shirts, tights, shirts whenever stepping out of the room.
- The athletes must maintain a safe & isolated distance of minimum 2 meters from others while walking to the training ground and during the training.
- They must carry their own water bottle, energy drink etc. as well as personal hand sanitiser, paper napkins, towels.
- The athletes are instructed to not exercise/train/walk in groups; also not not to take help of other athletes/coaches.
- They must not shake hands or hug other athletes, coaching staff members.
- If an athlete feel like an illness should immediately report to its coach, support staff.
- Avoid using public toilets
- Do not sneeze or cough without covering your mouth and nose.
- Do not spit on the ground. Always use dustbin to throw any waste such as empty water bottles, paper napkins etc.
- Do not call any person from outside in the training area or enroute training area/hostel/dining hall.
- First thing first, use personal hand sanitiser.
- Athletes must make sure that their belongings have not been touched by others, similarly, not touch anything that does not belong to them.
- The athletes must not hang around in groups and be in their hostel room as soon as possible.
- Take shower immediately once after reaching room.
- Put used clothes for washing immediately & do not wear same clothes after shower.
- Sauna/Ice bath facilities will not be available during 'restricted training' phase.
- The athletes must keep their personal hygiene level high at all times.
- Visit to barber shops/saloons/beauty parlours/shopping malls is strictly prohibited. Do not eat outside or order food parcels.
- Sanitise all handheld implements prior to and after use e.g. shots, javelins, discus etc.
- Clean equipment with a disinfectant spray at the conclusion of training.
- Coaches will be responsible for maintaining social distancing.
- Use of clean & disinfected equipment during training sessions; supply & requirement of disinfectants must be timely reported to the Chief Coach.
- The coaching sessions following proper protocol will be supervised by Chief Coach, Deputy Chief Coach & High-Performance Director.
- Persons other than those already in the camps are 'strictly' prohibited to enter the training area.
- Athletes are not allowed to leave the camps. Any leave from the camp can 'only' be sanctioned by the AFI President/Chairman Planning Committee.
- Athletes leaving the camp/visiting their homes/or any other places outside campus MUST go through 14-days of Quarantine before re-joining the camp.