The Executive Board has been guided by the expert advice of the IBU Medical Advisory Group in preparing the safety measures which will be implemented over the course of the season. The IBU was advised by its medical experts that the vaccination of athletes, officials and all participants will be the most effective way to deliver events safely. Event participants who have not been vaccinated, or who have not recently recovered from COVID-19, will have to provide negative PCR tests to enter and stay in the IBU event bubble. The same PCR testing requirement might apply for vaccinated persons who have not received vaccines which are accepted within the event hosting country.
Additional requirements for travel and entry into the host countries of the IBU events, including rules on approved vaccines, quarantine periods for non-vaccinated individuals and required COVID-19 testing, may be required depending on national legislation in each respective country. The IBU, together with its Organising Committees and National Federations, is in close contact with the authorities in the host countries to find solutions that guarantee fair and equal participation rights for all vaccinated athletes to participate in the competitions this winter. However, the IBU will always follow national regulations applying to travel, entry and staging of sport events in the host country and this might also lead to even stricter event onboarding rules.
The event access rules and procedures for ticketholders are defined by the authorities of each event hosting country.
A survey conducted among national federations this fall shows that the vaccination rate among the teams is at over 80%. The IBU itself has decided that any IBU officials participating in events must be fully vaccinated.
IBU President Olle Dahlin said:
“The IBU’s main priority for the upcoming 2021/2022 season is to protect the health of athletes and event participants and to guarantee safe and fair competitions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Even under the currently very dynamic COVID-19 developments in Europe, we are confident that with the plans we have in place we will deliver that and we cannot wait for the season to begin. There will be some challenges which will require flexibility by all stakeholders, but with everyone working together and following the rules we will be able to overcome them and enjoy excellent biathlon competitions.”
Only fully vaccinated, recovered or regularly PCR-tested people will be accredited for the biathlon venues. Participants have to wear masks at all indoor facilities at the venue. The full IBU COVID-19 Event Guidelines which will be followed at every event in the 2021/22 season can be found here: https://www.biathlonworld.com/about-ibu/inside-ibu/staysafe/