Argentina’s national team has set up a strict protocol to protect its COVID-19 players and staff during the Copa America next month as the country enters its worst period since the start of the pandemic.
The complex of the national team in Ezeiza will become a fortress to host superstar Lionel Messi and his teammates from May 26 until the end of the tournament, which will be played between June 13 and July 10.
As all players have to sleep in single rooms, 17 trailers have been rented to accommodate coach Lionel Scaloni and his staff.
The Argentine Football Federation (AFA) is also setting up giant tents that will serve as a fitness center, restaurant, COVID test center and entertainment. The idea is to keep the social distance in closed spaces. Each player will have to change in their own rooms.
Argentina will also play two World Cup qualifiers before the continental tournament. He will host Chile on June 3 and visit Colombia five days later. Colombia is scheduled to host the Copa America, but street protests against President Ivan Duque have called the organization into question.
Upon arrival, players will be isolated until their COVID-19 tests return negative. This will be repeated for at least three days and there will be no visits from people outside the balloon.
Argentina’s doctor Daniel Martinez told reporters that although some players have been vaccinated, “we must take care as always” because the South American football body CONMEBOL requires them to show negative tests.
“The vaccinated patient can be positive and that can stop him from playing,” Martinez said.
Argentina’s national team is waiting for the country’s health ministry to approve vaccines from the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac, donated by CONMEBOL, to immunize their players. Martinez confirmed that some players have already taken their photos, but did not identify them.
Argentina recently achieved a record number of daily deaths and deaths from COVID-19. The South American country has had more than 3.4 million cases and more than 72,000 deaths from the virus.