All players, coaches and officials attending ITTF events will have to undergo mandatory coronavirus tests before and during events under new guidelines released by the world governing body.
The protocol is among a raft of measures in the 23-page document as the ITTF sets out what is necessary for a safe return to global competitions.
All those travelling to a competition will have to provide a negative swab test result to organisers four days before travelling to the competition. The test must have been taken no more than a week before travelling.
During events, everyone will be tested every three days – or earlier if showing symptoms – and everyone will be required to take a test before leaving the host country.
Local organising committee staff will also be required to provide negative four tests before the arrival of any international delegations.
Among the other protocols, all those involved must wear masks at all times at the venue and hotel and while being transported between the two, except when playing.
Other regulations cover temperature checks on entry to the venue, sanitisation procedures, practice schedules, eating arrangements and match protocols, including no handshakes.
An ITTF statement accompanying the document release reads: “Whilst it has been encouraging to see how determined the table tennis community is to stay active in the sport even in tough times, it has become evident that international events are not only essential to the livelihood of professional players, coaches and associations, but also a major aspect of keeping the community connected.
“Fully determined to organise international events going forwards, the ITTF has set out to develop official guidelines, which must be implemented by all event organisers, and the ITTF will continue to refine this document and its procedures with input from health authorities and public health and infectious disease specialists.”
ITTF events are currently paused and the executive committee will next meet to discuss the situation on August 28.