15/09/2021- GBR Fencer


Please note – the information on this news post is now out of date – for the latest information see here.

The situation remains complicated and uncertain about international travel. On an almost weekly basis, the EFC and FIE are updating the calendars as competition organisers across the world are having to make difficult decisions about whether competitions will be going ahead, be postponed or cancelled.

BF intends where possible to facilitate our athletes attending international competitions, recognising that the COVID travel restrictions will result in changes to our procedures and the roles and responsibilities of participants.

BF is aiming to publish (by 23rd September) a list of nominated international competitions – these are international competitions that will contribute to ranking points (see rankings and selections). This will be subject to further changes in response to EFC, FIE and COVID/security risk assessments.

Please note that not all Senior World Cup and Grand Prix competitions will be nominated (ie contribute to points on the rankings). BF will not necessarily prevent eligible athletes from travelling to non-nominated competitions but the risks (COVID, security) will be set out. (The Board of BF reserves the right to not enter a GBR squad to an event based on risk assessments).

We will try to avoid nominating competitions hosted in countries that are currently on the UK red list, recognising that some red list countries may turn amber later in the season.

Where an event is nominated, selection will take place around 5-6 weeks before the event where possible.

If, 4 weeks before the date of the competition:

  1. a host country is on the UK red list 4 weeks or is going to be added, OR
  2. UK Nationals are not permitted to travel to the host country, OR
  3. The host country is deemed to present another significant risk to athletes (eg security risk)

the event will be un-nominated. Selected athletes may still attend if the status of the country changes nearer the time. However, even if the status of the country changes there will be no ranking points and no administrative support (other than entering the athlete) from Head Office.

If any participant is selected/approved to be entered into a competition abroad the following applies:


BF responsibilities:

  1. Select/enter the athlete (or select/nominate the official)
  2. Make them aware of the risks of travelling
  3. Facilitate the provision of invitation letters (if required for an individual to arrange visas)
  4. Set out any travel requirements (eg arrival/departure deadlines, maximum costs for officials)
  5. Book hotel accommodation for Major championships (Euros and Worlds), Nominated Junior Events


Individual Responsibility (or Parent in the event an U18 is travelling)

To Arrange:

  1. All necessary testing and paperwork to enter and exit the country and return to the UK. Including visas, passenger locator forms, COVID tests.
  2. Flights/travel (within the appropriate BF entry/exit requirements)
  3. Personal Travel insurance – there are now several policies available that cover different costs concerning COVID. Individuals must source the policy that is most appropriate to their needs, including any enhanced cover for equipment or technology that they travel with.
  4. Travelling U18s must be accompanied by a parent/guardian who will remain with the U18 in the event of a positive test. In a change to previous policy the parent/guardian of an U18 athlete is permitted to stay in the team hotel for Junior World Cups (however must make own bookings, unless a bubble system is in place)
  5. Hotel Accommodation – EFC Cadet Events, Non-nominated events, Senior Grand Prix/World Cups, EFC U23s, FIE Satellites (except for Juniors selected to as part of a Junior squad for a Junior nominated event – if applicable)


FIE Covid Protocols

It may be that event organisers introduce protocols that require athletes and officials to stay in specific hotels and participate in competition-specific testing as part of a bubble system. In this scenario, we will attempt to secure accommodation in these hotels for travelling parents of U18 athletes and registered coaches and facilitate competition-specific testing (Please note that we will be strictly applying minimum standards for coaches concerning safeguarding and anti-doping training).


Coaches/Team Managers/Referees

Many of the officials that would normally travel with the team cannot necessarily take the risk that they will be quarantined abroad or on return to the UK. This may impact the availability of officials which may, in turn, impact the support available to athletes and the cost of travel to some competitions – particularly in the event of fines if we are unable to source referees.

At this time we will not be selecting/appointing BF Team Managers, Coaches and Referees to EFC Cadet events.  We will be accrediting personal coaches for travel and will look to support referees on the BF Pathway Programme who wish to referee at these events for development purposes. Further information on this will follow, including updates on minimum standards (Criminal Record Checks, UKAD, SPC) and permitted expenses (referees only). We will be reviewing this position on a regular basis.


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