INTERNATIONAL FENCING

Last updated: 21.12.2021

This page is will be updated in response to the changing situation with COVID. Important changes will be announced via News Posts. Before choosing to accept any selection and deciding to travel, participants must consider the information below, in particular noting the responsibilities that sit with the participant and with BF.

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.

In addition the UK government has and will continue to make changes to the requirements on people returning to the UK. If you are planning to travel you must regularly monitor these requirements Entering the UK – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Update 10/12/2021 As at 10/12 this now includes the requirement to quarantine until receiving negative Day 2 PCR test, even if fully vaccinated.

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 has published 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). (IDENTIFIED SENIOR COMPETITIONS CHANGED TO NON-NOMINATED – BRITISH FENCING) 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).

(Update 27/10 to note:  Entry process for Non-Nominated – announcement here).

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

Where an event is nominated, selection will take place around 5-6 weeks before the event where possible. Selection announcements may be delayed if we have not been provided with the ‘reglements’ (this is the document published by the organisers with information about the competition, often a lack of reglements can indicate a possible postponement or cancellation).

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.

Please note that at any one point of time in the competitive season we are supporting 100s of athletes with trips to many different countries across the world. BF as an organisation employ the equivalent of 13 full time people across all the areas that we work, and currently have the equivalent of only 1.5 full time person dedicated to supporting international travel. At this time we are not in a position to recruit new staff members to deal with this significant increase in administration to support internationals, and continually monitor and communicate the changing requirements based on all the various factors (age, vaccination status etc etc). Thus there is a level of expectation around responsibilities that sit with all those participating. 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
  6. Added – 21/12 Appointment of any BF officials (coaches, team managers)

 

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, vaccine passports.
  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 country the event of a positive test. Parents are not permitted to stay in the team hotel for Junior World Cups or Major Events (European Championships or World Championships, Senior/U23/U20/U17)
  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)
  6. Updated 10/12 Quarantine (entry and exit) if required
  7. Updated 10/12 Regular monitoring of travel information issued by FCO and BF and taking appropriate action in a timely manner
  8. Updated 21/12 Be up to date with the vaccinations/boosters (in line with the government programme in place in their country of residence) and have all appropriate paperwork in place.
  9. Updated 21/12 Perform daily lateral flow tests in the 7 day period prior to travel, and minimise all unnecessary social contact.
  10. Updated 21/12 Have in place a draft quarantine plan in the event that you have a positive test.
  11. Updated 21/12 Be familiar with the relevant COVID event protocols (see below for FIE/EFC protocols, additional information will be provided by event organisers in the published ‘reglements’) .

 

FIE/EFC Covid Protocols

FIE COVID documents

EFC COVID documents

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.

We will do our best to appoint BF Team Managers (most likely to be non-travelling), 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. We will be reviewing this position on a regular basis.

 

 

Additional COVID Protocols

  1. Participants (unless exempt) are expected to ensure that they follow all ‘standard’ COVID protocols when travelling. Which are often legally required abroad and in the UK. This includes face mask wearing (recommended FFP3 minimum) and regular hand sanitisation.
  2. BF strongly recommends that everyone travelling is up to date with vaccination and boosters. We will periodically review the vaccination status of those travelling and will consider taking additional mitigation measures in the event that participants remain unvaccinated, despite being offered the opportunity to do so.
  3. Perform daily lateral flow tests in the 7 day period prior to travel, and minimise all unnecessary social contact.
  4. All travelling participants should have a contingency plan for quarantine. Consideration should be given to continuing your training online (S&C sessions, Sports Psych sessions), timetabling check-in times with family and friends, packing additional personal items (medications, clothes) for a min 10 day stay.
  5. Our recommendation (which will be a requirement for certain events) is that participants arrive so they are present at the start of weapon control and any pre-event COVID testing windows set by the organisers. The later that participants arrive, the more crowded and stressful these become and the risk levels increase.

 

Positive Tests (from 1st Jan 2022)

  1. In the event that a positive case arises it is important to understand that what happens next will not be under the control of BF. Depending on the country that you are visiting, the authorities will have different protocols. However, the person that has tested positive is likely to be collected by authorities and taken to a quarantine hotel. If the person is U18 the parent/guardian will be taken too.
  2. If a BF Team Manager is travelling with the squad they will be the primary liaison point with the Competition Organisers and will support the person (and parent if U18) who has tested positive, as much as is practically possible, whilst also ensuring that risks are reduced to other members of the party. In such scenarios it is important that people (including parents/guardians of other athletes) follow the instructions of the team manager, recognising that a Team Manager will need to prioritise the different needs of different people, starting with the needs of the squad.
  3. BF will not expect a Team Manager or Coach to remain in the country if there is a positive test in the squad. (Hence, in part, why all U18s should be travelling with a parent/guardian).
  4. BF will request a copy of the participant’s quarantine plan for review. The plan should take into account the person’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing for the likely duration of the stay.

 

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