This piece originally appeared on our sister site, Eventing Nation.
With over 115,000 cases of COVID-19 now being reported across 103 countries, the FEI has been carefully monitoring the development of the outbreak and advised countermeasures. It has urged National Federations, event organizers and other stakeholders to keep themselves informed on the coronavirus and follow advice issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Coronavirus confirmed cases. Click on the photo above or click here to view data by Johns Hopkins University on total deaths and recoveries worldwide. Photo and data by Johns Hopkins.
On March 10, the FEI provided an updated advisory, including key planning recommendations for mass gatherings in the context of the coronavirus outbreak:
“As the situation around the current Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak is constantly evolving and is impacting many communities, we all need to be aware that it is everyone’s responsibility to help minimise the spread of the virus through containment.
“In order to achieve that goal, we must all keep ourselves updated on the latest advice, both from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and our own national or local authorities.
“You will have seen the FEI Sports Forum news last week that we have cancelled the in-person event and will be hosting the time-sensitive sessions online. (The 2020 FEI Sports Forum on April 6-7 will be held online rather than Lausanne, Switzerland as originally planned.)
“For anyone else in our community that is planning on organizing a major event, it is crucial that you conduct a full risk assessment, together with the local authorities in your country.
“We recommend that organizers check the WHO’s latest guidelines offering key planning recommendations for mass gatherings in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak(see attached document), which outlines risk assessment, key planning, operational and post-event considerations for organizers during the current outbreak.
“This document should be read in conjunction with the WHO’s Public Health for Mass Gatherings: Key Considerations, which provides general advice on the public health aspects of mass gathering events.
“The FEI continues to follow the situation regarding COVID-19 very closely and, specifically for Tokyo, we are maintaining regular contact with the IOC, the IPC and the Tokyo Organising Committee.
“The IOC and IPC are collaborating directly with the WHO and IOC Medical and Scientific Commission Games Group public health experts, as well as the relevant sport and government authorities and, to this end, a joint task force was created in mid-February, involving the IOC, Tokyo 2020, the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and the WHO.
“The IOC has advised us that countermeasures against infectious diseases constitute an important part of Tokyo 2020’s plans to host a safe and secure Games.
“Tokyo 2020 is continuing to collaborate with all relevant organisations which carefully monitor any incidence of infectious diseases and, together with them, will review any countermeasures that may be necessary.
“The IOC Executive Board met in Lausanne (SUI) on 3 and 4 March and confirmed its full commitment to the success of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, encouraging all athletes to continue with their preparations for the Games.
“The WHO has also published a comprehensive Q&A document as well as guidelines for the workplace on simple ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what to do if someone in your workplace contracts the virus.
“Finally, please find below the links to four important documents for your information:
- WHO Key planning recommendations for Mass Gatherings in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak
- Information to all Tokyo 2020 stakeholders On Covid 2019
- IOC Letter to Summer IFs – Update on COVID-19
- Interview with the IOC President on the current state of preparation for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
Several National Federations have issued statements and advisories, which we have collated below. Please note that US Equestrian has created a Coronavirus Disease Resources portal with helpful links and more information.
“The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is closely monitoring the information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. Our number one priority is the safety and welfare of our members, staff and their families. While the current number of cases in the United States is low, we recognize the growing concerns of our community with respect to the potential for an increase in cases in coming weeks.
“The USEF Executive Team meets regularly to review the communications on this illness issued from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and other health organizations. We have created a resource hub on our website (click here), with links to resources so that you can stay up to date on the most current information available….
“The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) is in constant contact with key partners such as UK Sport, the British Olympic Association, the Sport and Recreation Alliance, and the FEI to monitor the situation both in Britain and globally around the current Coronavirus outbreak.
“We urge all stakeholders to follow Government advice and information, which is regularly updated on the GOV.uk website. For those with travel concerns, there is specific advice available here. The Government published their action plan on 3 March, which outlines the measures in force to contain the spread of the virus.
“There is presently no rationale to close or cancel equestrian events, but this may change as the situation evolves. We would strongly recommend everyone in the equestrian community to follow the NHS guidance on how to avoid catching or spreading the virus to help in the containment process.”
- March 5: Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- March 10: Paralympics Australia – IPC & PA Coronavirus Update & AIS Disability Support Pension Compensation Program
- March 9: AOC Advice for Summer Games Planning
- March 10: Coronavirus emergency: DPCM 9 March 2020. First indications from FISE
- March 9: Covid-19 emergency: FAQ. The Federation answers further questions
- March 8: Covid-19 emergency: FISE measures
- March 5: Covid-19: FISE clarifications on DPCM of 4 March 2020
- Feb. 28: About correspondence with new coronavirus infectious disease
- Feb. 26: About cancellation of training course and certification test sponsored by Nimaren (new coronavirus measures)
- March 3: Coronavirus and Equestrian Sport