We're getting a better look at the NBA's 'bubble' environment in Disney, and it includes frequent COVID-19 testing, movie nights, DJ sets, and physical-distancing alarms

Todd Kirkland/Getty ImagesAn NBA ballboy wears gloves while handling a basketball.
  • The NBA players union sent a 33-page packet of information about the rules and procedures of the NBA’s “bubble” environment in Disney World.
  • Players must self-isolate until they can return two negative COVID-19 PCR tests within 24 hours of Orlando, and will then be subjected to regular testing, temperature checks, and symptom surveys.
  • Activities on the campus include player lounges with TVs and video games, pools, saunas, ping pong, golf, DJ sets, and more.
  • Players are expected to wear masks except for when they’re in their rooms, eating, or working out, and physical/social distancing is required at almost all times.
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NBA players and teams were sent a lengthy packet of information on Tuesday by the National Basketball Players Association outlining the “bubble” environment in Disney World.

The package is the most detailed look yet at how the NBA season will resume with 22 teams in Orlando, Florida. A more detailed, 100-plus page guide of health and safety protocols was issued to teams on Tuesday night.

The packet released by the players union includes timelines for how teams will travel to Orlando, quarantine information, COVID-19 testing policies, plus the amenities and activities that will be available to players while in Disney.

Here are some of the key pieces of information, via multiple reports:

  • Teams will take chartered planes or buses to Orlando at staggered intervals on July 7-9.
  • Once in Orlando, team members will have to isolate in their home rooms for at least 36 hours until they can return two negative COVID-19 PCR (“polymerase chain reaction”) tests.
  • Players will be subjected to “regular” COVID-19 tests (it’s unclear if these will be every day), including less-invasive nasal and oral swaps and daily temperature checks. They will also take symptom surveys and pulse oximetry, which measures oxygen levels through a finger device).
  • Everyone will be expected to wear masks on the campus except while in their rooms, eating, working out or practicing, or engaging in physically distant activities (like reading a book alone).
  • Players may choose to wear alarms to notify them if someone else wearing an alarm is within 6 feet for more than 5 seconds. All team and league staff must wear them.
  • The 22 teams will be divided into three hotels by seeds. The top eight seeds will stay in the Gran Destino at the Coronado Springs Resort. The next eight seeds will stay at the Grand Floridian. The bottom six seeds will stay at the Yacht Club Resort.
  • Players are not allowed in each other’s rooms.
  • Players may eat meals or take part in social activities like golf, ping-pong, video games, or more with others staying in their hotels, but with physical distancing.
  • Player amenities will include a players-only lounge with video games and TVs, pool/sauna, barbers, manicurists, and pedicurists.
  • Players can bring individual trainers, massage therapists, or security, but they will count toward each team’s 35-person travelling-party limit.
  • There will be daily entertainment, including movie screenings, DJ sets, pool, and lawn games.
  • Players can attend other NBA games.
  • Each team will have a designated Disney culinary team to provide daily meals, accounting for dietary needs. Meals will be served in individual portions rather than buffet-style. Players may also hire private chefs who will work off the Disney campus and deliver meals.
  • There will be a 24-hour VIP concierge.
  • Players are not “prevented” from leaving the Disney campus, but it is expected that they will stay on the campus. If players leave, they will be asked to quarantine for 4-10 days upon returning, depending on circumstances. Tests upon returning will also include the more invasive nasal swabs. Players will also be deducted pay for any games they are forced to miss for leaving the campus.
  • Teams that advance beyond the first round of the playoffs will be given 17 hotel rooms to book for guests to stay on the campus. Players are responsible for the costs of the rooms. Guests must quarantine for three days in their home market or in Orlando outside of the campus before entering the campus. Assuming they don’t return a positive COVID-19 PCR test, they can enter the campus, but must quarantine for four days and get tested each of those days. Guests who leave the campus won’t be permitted to return.
  • When teams’ seasons end, players must return a negative PCR test within 24 hours of their scheduled departure.

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