We have been involved in extensive discussion and consultation with the governing body here in the UK. As you will be aware, all UK ski calendar competitions have been cancelled up to the end of August and discussions are taking place regarding September.
In the UK we have only just started to open outdoor (dry slope) facilities in the last 2 weeks and those that have opened are running at significantly reduced capacity. Indoor facilities to date are not permitted to open and in the event that this is relaxed the indoor facilities would need to gain significant experience prior to considering running a competitive event.
Since the easing of lockdown, the UK has been experiencing some localised spikes in Covid cases, as have other countries in Europe.
The information we have received from Snowworld to date has been limited and has been focused on short term measures to allow teams to train at Landgraaf. We have written to and spoken with Snowworld to understand what measures they would need to put in place to provide the necessary safety and operational controls to safely run an event the size of the Lowland Championships compliant with the Netherlands Government restrictions. We do not feel confident or comfortable that Snowworld have fully understood the numbers of people (racers, coaches, parents and public) that will descend upon the facility over a 2-day weekend.
Our current understanding from the Dutch Government website, is that you are only allowed up to 100 people to be in the same space indoors (excluding staff) and must comply with 1.5 metres social distancing. More than 100 are allowed if everyone makes a reservation and everyone must have a health check. In restaurants, cafes and bars every guest must have their own seat. It appears this applies to everywhere at present. There doesn’t seem to be any exclusion for sports facilities with restaurants, cafes and bars. Furthermore, general advice is to not go to busy places.
The Dutch Government website also classifies that the UK is a high-risk area and the government strongly advises UK travellers to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival. Whilst this may change in time, we have to make a decision now based on current conditions.
Taking account of all the above we feel that we have to make the call as organisers that GBR will not host and run the Lowlands Indoor Championships 2020 at Landgraaf. This has been a difficult decision but feel in the current circumstances attending and running such a large event under Covid restrictions is not acceptable for all who would be likely to attend.
Having said all the above, we would however intend to run the event in 2021.
On behalf of the GBR Organising Committee