Impact of the Coronavirus on IOF Member Federations

The Corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic has caused difficulties for athletes, organisers and national federations around the globe. To get an overview of the situation related to orienteering world-wide, the IOF Office consulted with Member Federations regarding the situation on a national level. The largest number of answers was received just prior to the June 12 IOF Council meeting and reflect the situation at that time.

In total 26 national federations answered the survey regarding restrictions on domestic and international activity and the financial impact experienced in their countries.

In summarising the answers received, a few things are evident:

· Domestic activity in most established orienteering nations is slowly starting to recover and local and national events are beginning to be planned again. However, at least over the summer, activities are still restricted. There is also notably a wide range of restrictions among the countries, it seems each country really is setting its own norms.

· Domestic activity in South America and some parts of Asia is still highly restricted as they are later in the pandemic cycle or are to a certain degree experiencing a second wave.

· Regarding international travel and international activity, the submissions give an indication that the situation is still very unclear with a variety of dates and sub-regional bilateral solutions. There is some commonality around the June 15th date decided by the EU for Schengen countries, but even here it appears that this is not being universally applied. It is therefore very difficult to form any conclusions about potential impact on international competitions in the fall of 2020 at the moment.

· The financial impacts of the pandemic appear if anything to be less than initially expected for member federations. Obviously for many there is a short term negative effect but most seem to feel that their long term financial situation will not be affected too much. Of course there is still a lot of uncertainty.

Overall the report shows that we are still in a mode where conclusive answers cannot be given. There are still too many variables and uncertainties, but the mood is slightly more optimistic than previously.

– It is very important for us to know the situation among our member federations as we continue to assess and determine the future scheduling of IOF events and activities, according to IOF CEO Tom Hollowell. – It is imperative to be able to align our ambitions and activities to what is actually possible for member federations to support, both financially and in accordance with national guidelines and restrictions. Based upon the detailed responses we have received from member federations it seems like this is of importance to them also.

The IOF Office will continue to follow the situation closely.