ISL Will COVID Test Athletes Every Five Days During Second Season

In its press conference today, the International Swimming League revealed its COVID-19 testing protocols for the league’s second season.

The ISL is planning to run from mid-October to mid-November, switching to a compressed training camp instead of the sprawling season plan used in last year’s inaugural season. It’s not clear yet what coronavirus protocols will be in place, or if athletes will be quarantined while in Budapest in a system similar to the NBA’s ‘bubble.’

Update: The ISL says that it will give swimmers free access to Margaret Island, where the hotel and pool facilities are located, and allow limited 90 minute departures to the mainland.

You can read more about that here.

Here’s the testing protocols, as laid out in the press conference:

  • Each athlete, coach, and ISL official will be tested (with a PCR test) twice before departing for Budapest
  • Everyone will be tested once upon arrival
  • Everyone will be tested one more time 48 hours after arrival
  • Assuming everyone tests negative for the coronavirus, training can begin shortly after that fourth test.
  • Then, every athlete, coach, and ISL official will be tested every five days

The exceptions to this 5-day rule, however, are broad, including anybody who had a positive test in the prior 6 months, and those for whom the 2 tests performed prior to entering the bubble are negative, or who test positive for having previously had an infection upon arrival.

In other words, very few swimmers are likely to actually undergo the every-5-days testing.

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic forced the ISL to abandon its original plans for a 6-month, 27-meet season that would cover much of the calendar. Now, the season will be compressed into a roughly five-week training camp, with a season finale meet taking place about a month later. That finale is likely to be in Tokyo, though that’s not official yet.

The meets will proceed without spectators due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There’s no decision yet on whether athletes will be restricted to team hotels and training facilities. The ISL says it will announce that in the future, calling it an evolving situation.

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3 years ago

Oh lmao I thought they meant drug testing. Thought that seemed a bit excessive

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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