(effective for all FEI Events held as of 1 July 2020)
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the FEI remains dedicated to the safety and welfare of horses, athletes, officials, staff, spectators and all those involved in the equine industry. During the past two months, we have worked closely with the National Federations, International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and with the World Health Organization (WHO) to coordinate our response regarding the cancellation and postponement of competitions, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Concurrently, we started preparing for the eventual return to competition when allowed by domestic governmental bodies around the world.
Covid-19 has caused massive disruption to the FEI Calendar and to national events, with a huge impact on all the various participants of equestrian sports. We are all in this together and this pandemic will be with us for at least 12-24 months. We need to adapt to a “new normal” as we move forward.
As we anticipate the gradual return of competitions, we must do everything we can to mitigate the risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19. This is a matter of public health, and it’s also how a sport can demonstrate to public authorities that it is ready to resume activity. In this regard, the FEI is committed to assisting National Federations and FEI Event Organisers by providing resources to effectively assess the risks potentially posed by Events from the planning phase and mitigate such risks through relevant measures.
The FEI Policy for Enhanced Competition Safety during the Covid-19 Pandemic, which is effective for all FEI Events held as of 1 July 2020, has been developed based on currently accepted best practices by the WHO and US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and will be continually reviewed and updated as more information becomes available. It is not intended to replace the applicable guidance and policies from domestic government and health authorities, but to supplement their recommendations with sport specific considerations.
The Policy includes:
- A framework outlining objectives, roles and responsibilities;
- A decision-making system for sports federations/sports event organisers when planning events during the Covid-19 pandemic. This system, which was developed by the WHO, is composed of a risk assessment tool, a decision-making tree, and an accompanying document outlining relevant considerations;
- Best practices for FEI Event Organisers.
National Federations are requested to communicate this Policy to the FEI Event Organisers under their jurisdiction, and to assist them in performing the risk assessment and evaluating whether they can safely hold Events.
Under this Policy, conducting and documenting the risk assessment – together with the National Federation – is mandatory for FEI Event Organisers.
A Covid-19 Communication Plan Checklist for Organising Committees is available on the FEI website and additional resources will be published to complement this Policy:
- Discipline-specific guidance
- Templates and checklists to assist Organisers with some elements of their risk mitigation plan
Please visit these pages regularly for updates.
We know that challenges (discipline specific, event specific and regional) will arise when implementing this Policy. It is essential that effective ongoing communications take place between the FEI and National Federations/Organisers. Please let us know if and how we can help by answering your questions, holding webinars and facilitating National Federation to National Federation knowledge sharing.
Further information regarding the practicalities of implementation will be sent to NFs as soon as possible. In the interim, if you have any questions after your National Federation, your OCs and your Officials have had the opportunity to familiarise yourselves with this important Policy, please contact [email protected].
With this Policy, it is the FEI’s hope that the sport we all love so much can find its way to get through the Covid-19 pandemic while preserving the safety of all involved and supporting the tremendous efforts made around the world by governments, populations, health agencies, health professionals and businesses to eventually get it under control.
Stay well and stay safe.