Credit: Imago Images - Scanpix
Credit Imago Images - Scanpix

EuroLeague announced an updated health and safety protocol that will allow a quicker return to the court, but many EuroLeague games are still being postponed.

BasketNews explains why people from the EuroLeague headquarters are still busy with suspending games.

EuroLeague had to postpone Round 19 since many teams experienced the COVID-19 outbreak last week. However, many games were also suspended before Round 20 and 21, so a double-game week turned out to be a single-game week.

Out of 18 games this week, only 9 will take place at best if more suspensions won't be announced in the upcoming days.

ALBA Berlin, UNICS Kazan, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, and Zenit St. Petersburg registered many new COVID-19 cases last week, leaving them without a minimum of eight players to play in Round 20 and 21.

But in some cases, the postponements of games are inevitable for quite some time due to local legislation imposing quarantine measures.

Last week the EuroLeague board agreed on a proposal to shorten the time to return for vaccinated players from 14 to 7 days, provided that it is in line with local authorities' regulations. Return to play protocol for unvaccinated and non-exempted players was shortened from 14 to 10 days.

The EuroLeague involves 18 teams from 11 countries with different COVID-19 protocols. BasketNews ran through the list and checked those countries that don't allow return from self-isolation in 7 days or less.

So far, the list includes four areas: Lithuania, Russia, Serbia, and Germany.

If you test positive for COVID-19 in Russia, self-isolation for 14 days is mandatory. The same rules apply to Serbia.

Currently, 14-day self-isolation is obligatory for ALBA Berlin. But in Germany, rules are different per region.

For example, FC Bayern Munich players can return on the court after seven days if they were vaccinated and their PCR test shows negative results on day 7.

In Berlin, the protocol is still tighter. However, the changes should come sooner than later since Germany's federal and state governments decided to shorten the quarantine period.

Protocol changes in Berlin are expected to be implemented from January 22, reducing it to 7 days with a negative test.

So far, this tight protocol left at least four teams - Zenit, UNICS, ALBA, and Crvena Zvezda - out of action for two weeks.

In Lithuania, self-isolation for ten days is required. But the government is currently discussing the possibility of reducing the term to 7 days. Meanwhile, Zalgiris managed to avoid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Per the EuroLeague statement, 93% of EuroLeague players and staff members are currently vaccinated.

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Points this season

Points made: 73,8
Accuracy: 46,2%
Place in standings: 13
Record max: 90
Record min: 58
Best scorer: Jordan Loyd