Status: 10/26/2021 4:05 p.m.
Lots of infections, quarantine, missed matches: The German Ice Hockey League is currently being hit particularly hard by the corona pandemic. As a consequence, the league is now tightening its test strategy for players and officials.
When it comes to corona and sport, the focus is currently on professional football with the vaccination debate about Bayern kicker Joshua Kimmich, but other areas of professional sport are also currently struggling with the consequences of the pandemic. The German Ice Hockey League (DEL) is currently reporting numerous cases of infection among its players – most recently there was a major corona outbreak at EHC Red Bull Munich and the Iserlohn Roosters had to cancel the game against the Düsseldorfer EG due to positive tests.
Significantly more PCR tests
Due to such massive problems with team quarantines and game cancellations, the DEL is now drawing conclusions and tightening the test strategy. The DEL announced that the number of tests will be increased from November 1st. For unvaccinated players, three PCR tests per week are then mandatory, rapid tests are no longer sufficient.
A weekly PCR test is required for vaccinated or recovered players and officials if they are part of the squad. Until now, only the professionals who had not been vaccinated had to be tested permanently. The DEL wants to avoid that entire teams have to be moved to quarantine and games in a row.
“All teams affected so far had unvaccinated players or officials in their squad and among those affected. However, people with full vaccination protection are also affected,” said the DEL. The league stated the vaccination quota for players and employees at a total of 93 percent.
Vaccination debate in professional football
The debate about corona security concepts in professional sport had recently picked up again after Bayern soccer professional Joshua Kimmich had declared that he had not yet been vaccinated against the corona virus. Kimmich justifies this with possible long-term consequences, which in his opinion have not yet been adequately researched. Numerous medical professionals had rejected the concerns: Side effects of a vaccination always occur directly – not months or years later.