Everyone is excited about the return to World Rafting Championships (WRC). But WRC 2022 will be different to all other WRCs – travel and COVID-19 compliance now go hand-in-hand. Below we set out where the competition will be, how to get there and how to stay compliant with the current Bosnian health and travel restrictions.
WRC 2022 is an R4 event. Travel and COVID compliance advice applies to all four athletes, reserve(s), coaches, managers, friends and family, supporters, and anyone else travelling with, or to see, teams.
River Vrbas, Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia & Herzegovina
The river Vrbas will be the location for the World Rafting Championships. The Vrbas flows through the city of Banja Luka and just on the outskirts of the city to the south, is where racing will take place. When investigating your travel options from your home location, Banja Luka is your final destination.
Bosnia is served by four international airports. The two most convenient are Banja Luka Airport (18km north of Banja Luka) and Sarajevo International Airport (190km south east of Banja Luka – approx 3 hours drive).
Other international airports within a relative close proximity are Zagreb, Croatia (180km / 2 hours) and Belgrade, Serbia (315km / 3.5 hours). However, both of these options require road transport to then proceed to Banja Luka. Times given do not factor time at road border crossings which can be significant dependent on the time of day.
European & International travel and COVID restrictions:
Upon reaching a port of entry to Bosnia & Herzegovina (airport, road or rail crossing), in additional to normal customs and border formalities, at least one of the following requirements must be met to be permitted to cross into Bosnia (applicable to all foreigners):
- negative PCR test or rapid antigen test on SARS-CoV-2, not older than 48 hours if he/she comes from a European country, and if he/she comes from another country, not older than 72 hours until arrival at the border crossing point,
- certificate that a person has received the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine more than 14 days before the arrival to a border crossing or has received one dose more than 14 days before the arrival to a border crossing, if it is a single dose vaccine,
- certificate issued by doctor showing that he/she has recovered from COVID-19 in the previous period from 14 to 180 days until the arrival to a border crossing.
Currently, when entering Bosnia and Herzegovina, no quarantine or self-isolation measures are prescribed. All persons are obliged to follow the instructions and respect all orders of the epidemiological and health authorities (social distancing, protective face masks, hand washing, etc).
Current Bosnian travel and COVID restrictions in summary:
- negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test within 48 hours (European) or 72 hours (International) arrival to Bosnian border
- Proof of double vaccination more than 14 days before arrival to Bosnian border (electronic or printed)
- Proof of single vaccination (if vaccine is single dose e.g. Johnson & Johnson) more than 14 days before arrival to Bosnian border (electronic or printed)
- No quarantine / isolation required if one of the above compliance measures are met
- No recent test or vaccination = no entry to Bosnia & Herzegovina
NOTE: These travel and covid requirements are current at the time of publication (2021-11-15) and are subject to change. We will provide updates over the coming months but it is the responsibility of each and every person attending WRC to familiarise and stay up-to-date on these restrictions. The current Bosnian travel and covid restrictions can be found published here.
Reminder to all teams:
These travel and covid requirements are in addition to the normal IRF Race Rules criteria for World Rafting Championships. These include (but not limited to):
- Athletes must be a member of their National Federation, who in turn is a Member Nation of the IRF (Race Rule B.1.a)
- Teams must be fairly selected and nominated by their National Federation by winning fair and credible national selections (Race Rule A.1.d(ii))
- To remain eligible, teams must have a minimum of two of the original R4 team that participated in their National Selections (Race Rule B.12.b)
- Athletes must meet the age criteria for the division in which they are racing (we will publish these again shortly) (Race Rule B.8-11)
We will be publishing more details with regards to team registration requirements before the end of this year (2021). This includes age divisions, membership and the registration process which will be moving to an online format.
In the meantime, refresh yourselves with the Race Rules (there are currently no proposed changes to the current published version), and stay up to date with the Bosnian & Herzegovina travel and covid requirements on the Bosnian government website.
As soon as the final dates are confirmed, we will update the race calendar event here and also issue notice on all our social media.
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