As previously reported, the UFC has revised its COVID-19 testing protocol for the upcoming “Fight Island” events, and MMA Fighting has obtained documentation on those procedures.
While the Nevada Athletic Commission provided guidelines for recent fight cards held at UFC APEX in Las Vegas, a new set of rules have been provided to athletes and cornermen ahead of their trip to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The details of these documents were first released by MMA Junkie.
The protocol is broken up into three parts, regarding travel to and from Abu Dhabi, COVID-19 testing prior to traveling to Abu Dhabi, and COVID-19 testing while in Abu Dhabi.
In the first section, the protocol states that four hub cities will be available for charter flights: Las Vegas, London, Sao Paulo, and Moscow. Attendees not based in these cities will have to take a commercial fight to one of the hubs, with the UFC assisting in this step. Charter flight availability is limited, so attendees may be asked to arrive in Abu Dhabi “a few days earlier” or stay “a few days longer” than expected.
According to the documents, due to the time zone difference (events in Abu Dhabi will end on Sunday afternoon local time), attendees “may need to wait for the next scheduled departure later in the week.”
Flights out of Las Vegas will require attendees to arrive approximately 36 hours before departure while flights out of London, Moscow, and Sao Paulo will require attendees to arrive at least 48 hours before departure.
The UFC’s instructions also contain the following note:
Due to immigration restrictions, some individuals are flying directly to Abu Dhabi via specially commissioned flights without transiting through a hub city. These individuals are working directly with UFC Travel on their arrangements.
Regarding testing prior to flying out to Abu Dhabi, a pre-departure test and a negative result will be required before traveling is allowed. These tests will take place in the designated hub cities approximately 24-48 hours before travel. The UFC will handle pre-departure tests for individuals traveling directly to Abu Dhabi via “specially commissioned flights.”
Attendees will be quarantined at a UFC-designated hotel following their test, though those based in Las Vegas will be permitted to quarantine at home.
Upon arrival in Abu Dhabi, all attendees will be required to take two additional COVID-19 tests, first at the airport and then at the hotel. They will then be quarantined in their hotel room for a maximum of 12 hours while they await the results of their airport test. A second test will then be conducted in the hotel room by a team from G42 Healthcare.
Another period of hotel room quarantine will follow (again, not to exceed 12 hours) until the second test result is received.
In addition, further testing will be done 24-48 hours before the Yas Island take place and prior to departure from Abu Dhabi.
Attendees will receive a further instructions, information, and documentation upon arrival at Yas Island regarding testing, safety, and amenities.
A one sheet (first reported by ESPN) for quick reference has also been provided to all the attendees. See the graphic below: