The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the international sporting world, and the IRF is no exception. With lockdowns being brought into play throughout the world, borders closing and extreme travel restrictions in place, it is evident that it will be a long while before the sporting world gets back on its feet.
How this impacts our upcoming IRF events and activities:
- ERC 2020 in Czechia – with heavy hearts we have announced the cancellation of our ERC 2020
- WRC 2020 in Ziyuan, Guilin, China – China has moved through the peak of the pandemic and practically eliminated community transmitted COVID-19 infections, and Ziyuan has experienced zero cases at anytime making it one of the safest venues for rafting on the globe. However, China has closed their borders to all foreigners to prevent the virus from entering the country and reestablishing itself. No date has been given for when this may change. The IRF Executive Committee and Athlete’s Commission have discussed the fact that COVID-19 travel restrictions, quarantines and curfews around the world have made it impossible for many of our athletes to safely train or make preparations to travel to China. The IRF further believes that our sport must not in any way be a factor that could endanger the health and safety of our IRF family or their loved ones. Therefore, the IRF and the WRC Organisers are discussing the very real likelihood that the WRC may be postponed. We are investigating all options at the moment. We will announce a joint decision as soon as we have found a path through this maze of uncertainty.
- Balkan White Water Safety Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina – postponed to later in the year.
- For all other IRF events and activities – please keep a close eye on the following two links which we will update as we receive information from the organisers and make joint decisions on the future of these activities and events:
As always, the health and safety of the IRF family remains our first priority. The IRF will continue to follow the information and guidance of the World Health Organisation (WHO), as the United Nations agency that is leading the world on this issue.
The IRF will act according to the science-based evidence gathered by WHO. We will not issue blanket proclamations or unilaterally suspend all IRF events. We support all our event organisers and teams across the globe, and will continue to respond to the pandemic with appropriate measures – without misrepresentation, over-hype, or panic. Government restrictions placed on event gatherings, which may or may not be based on WHO recommendations, will be followed in accordance to law.
We encourage everyone to keep healthy, get plenty of clean, fresh air, and closely follow the WHO COVID-19 advice for the public. If you are able and allowed to step outside to get onto rivers, please follow WHO’s advice on social distancing and any legal restrictions put in place by government officials. Let’s remain positive while we focus on our health and safety – the world needs positivity to get us through this difficult time.
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