COVID-19

The ongoing coronavirus outbreak is causing disruption to the FIS & IPC circuit and is now increasingly disrupting day to day movement. There are multiple factors that need to be considered when assessing athletes’ and staff suitability to travel both abroad and within the UK including:

– Potential health risks
– Training and competition days lost or affected
– Possible quarantine implications if Coronavirus suspected
– Travel insurance implications
– Performance risk/benefit assessment

COVID -19 FAQ

Answers Updated 5th January 2021

Question- Can I travel within the UK?

Answer- The Government have announced, you must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave the home to:

• shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
• go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
• exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
• meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
• seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
• attend education or childcare – for those eligible

Question- Can I go to the gym?

Answer- The Government have advised that all gyms and indoor sports facilities must remain closed. Outdoor gyms may remain open in Scotland.

Question- Can I exercise outside?

Answer- Yes. You should minimise time spent outside your home.

It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or
support bubble. You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or
leisure (e.g. a picnic or a social meeting). This should be limited to once per day, and you should not
travel outside your local area.

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

• by yourself
• with the people you live with
• with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
• in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
• or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household

Public outdoor places include:

• parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests
• public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them)
• the grounds of a heritage site
• playgrounds

Outdoor sports venues, including tennis courts, golf courses and swimming pools, must close. When around other people, stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household – meaning the people you live with – or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).

In Scotland, you are permitted for local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise, walking, cycling, golf, or running that starts and finishes at the same place (which can be up to 5 miles from the boundary of your local authority area) as long as you abide by the rules on meeting other households. A maximum of 2 people from 2 separate households can meet outdoors for sport or exercise. Children
under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards this number.

Question- Can I train at home?

Answer- Yes. There are many ways that you can train at home. Some essentials we would recommend to help do this are strength bands, skipping rope, foam roller, something heavy (dumbbell, weight plate, bag of sand).

Question – What about if I am due to travel to another country?

Answer – You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.

If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice. If you are currently in the UK we do not advise travelling internationally for FIS races.

Question- Who is classed as an elite athlete?

Answer- For the purposes of Government guidelines, the definition of an ‘elite athlete’ means a person who is:

• an individual who derives a living from competing in a sport
• a senior representative nominated by a relevant sporting body
• a member of the senior training squad for a relevant sporting body, or
• aged 16 or above and on an elite development pathway

As per the Government Guidelines, an “elite development pathway” means a development pathway established by the national governing body of a sport to prepare athletes (a) so that they may derive a living from competing in that sport, or (b) to compete in that sport in the Olympic or Paralympic Games.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-ofsport-and-recreation/elite-sport-return-to-training-guidance-step-one–2

The return to sport is a phased response with Return to Cross border competition being the 4th stage. As per government guidelines, athletes must have followed steps 1, 2 & 3 before moving to stage 4. Furthermore, the National Governing Body must accept responsibility for athletes and staff that are being considered for exemption during training/event. The NGB must also be responsible for athletes and staff returning to the UK to an environment that may be outside established NGB training in line with the stages 1-4 guidance.

Therefore, in order for GBS to confirm elite status and provide a letter of support confirming an athlete is exempt from quarantine on return to England for training or competition, or eligible to travel within the UK or Internationally athletes & staff must meet the below points:

• Be a member of a GBS World Class Programme, GBS Programme and in attendance on a GBS training camp or competition under the guidance of GBS Staff
• Have followed stages 1-4 of the Government Return to Sport Guidelines
• Follow all COVID-19 protocols and risk mitigation steps as outlined by GBS
• Follow and adhere to all testing requirements as confirmed by GBS or the competition organisers
• In the case of returning from competition, the competition must be an event in which the participants compete to qualify for the right to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the Tokyo or Beijing Olympic or Paralympic Games

Please note, if you are on a Snowsport Scotland or Snowsport Wales pathway, you should contact
your home nation directly.

Question- How is Coronavirus affecting travel returning to the UK?

UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning and keep up to date with the latest developments. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Please at all times, ensure that you are following the guidelines of your devolved Government.