As the NBA begins welcoming teams to ESPN Wide of Sports Complex near Orlando this week for the resumption of the 2019-20 season, the league has reportedly set the protocols for players unable to travel with the rest of their team.
Citing a memo sent to teams from the league, ESPN on Sunday reported that players must arrange for their own travel to the Orlando area if a) they miss a scheduled coronavirus test in the two days prior to their team’s scheduled departure date, or b) have “extenuating circumstances” previously disclosed to the league.
According to the memo, ESPN reported that a player can travel on a charter flight at their own expense, travel by car or fly commercial. If the player chooses to fly privately or drive, they must have two negative coronavirus tests before resuming basketball activities. If they fly commercial, they must test negative three consecutive times before rejoining their teammates.
There are also several players who have already tested positive for COVID-19, and according to ESPN, any players who tested positive in the last week will likely be unable to travel with their teams. Players who do test positive must self-isolate and pass at least two consecutive tests, according to the NBA’s health and safety guidelines, ESPN reported.
The NBA announced last Thursday that 25 players tested positive for the coronavirus in the first eight days of testing. Among the teams with players who have reportedly tested positive are the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat.
The 22 teams taking part in the resumption of the NBA season are scheduled to arrive in Florida between Tuesday and Thursday. Beginning July 22, each team will compete in three inter-squad scrimmages at the ESPN complex before the regular season resumes July 30.
The NBA suspended its season after Utah center Rudy Gobert tested positive on March 11.