A statement on International Events and Travel from the Snow Australia Cross Country Committee
– November 2020
After careful consideration of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation in Europe and Australian government travel restrictions, the Snow Australia Cross Country Committee is announcing the following decisions regarding international travel and event entries for the 2020/2021 season:
These decisions take into account the current DFAT (https://www.dfat.gov.au/travel/Pages/travel) and Department of Home Affairs advice (https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/leaving-australia), as well as the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Europe and the ongoing Australian returning passenger limitations and mandatory quarantine.
The decision not to enter athletes in the World Junior Championship has not been taken lightly. Australia has participated at every WJC since 1999. With increasing prospects of events being cancelled (the 2021 WJC has already been moved once and details of a new host are not yet confirmed) and inter-country quarantine, raised challenges of managing a junior team under strict hygiene and distancing protocols, and implications from isolation requirements in case of illness, not to mention unknown long-term health consequence from contracting COVID-19, the committee deemed the risks involved with entering an Australia Team outweighed any benefits of having representation at the WJC at this time.
To avoid any confusion, Snow Australia will not enter any Australian athletes at the WJC regardless of whether they would be travelling from Australia or if resident overseas, as this may encourage junior athletes to ignore travel advice and seek to find other ways around the travel ban.
Acknowledging that this was the last year for athletes born in 2001 to compete at the WJC, the Snow Australia Cross Country Committee will look to ease the Australian qualification standard for the 2022 and 2023 World U23 Championships. Plans are also underway for alternative activities in Australia over the summer, with training camps already in December and FIS rollerski events scheduled for January 16/17 in Canberra.
The possibility to enter Australians in the 2021 World U23 Championship is still being considered.
Further COVID-19 information and competing overseas advice for all Snow Australia disciplines is available on the Snow Australia website.
Cross Country Skiing Program Director