Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL), 2nd February 2021 – The Cortina 2021 Alpine World Ski Championships, to be held in the Queen of the Dolomites from 7 to 21 February, will be a major international event in the era of Covid-19, and hence safety and the protection of health are top priorities.

Important measures are adopted to manage the guests expected for the event – athletes, coaches, managers, technical staff, media operators, ski men – in the most optimal way possible, and to protect the local community, in accordance with the Prevention and Hygiene Protocol drawn up by Fondazione Cortina 2021 in collaboration with the Sports Department of the Presidency of the Ministerial Council and the Technical Scientific Committee of the Presidency of the Ministerial Council. The Protocol, drawn up in compliance with current anti-Covid regulations passed by the Government at national level and by the Veneto region at local level, also takes into account the guidelines provided by FIS, FISI e CONI.

1. PREVENTION MEASURES

To ensure the safety of everyone, the following preventative measures will be taken during the World Championships:

The use of surgical masks at all times during the event.

Continuous sanitation of the hands, with gel dispensers placed in all strategic points.

Measuring of body temperature at every first point of access to the locations. Entry to any area

In the event of a fever of 37,5° or higher, or in the event of manifestation of common Covid-19 symptoms, is prohibited. When a temperature of 37° is measured, a second measurement will take place, possibly followed by a medical triage.

Maintaining social distance in all indoor and outdoor spaces, on public transport, and on ski lifts. To this end, the layout of all event locations have been revisited in order to facilitate the management of people flows and to avoid the gathering of crowds, with diversifications of routes to enter and exit the slopes and each reserved area.

Installation of physical barriers (e.g. plexiglass) wherever maintain interpersonal distance is not possible.

Continuous cleaning and sanitising of all event locations.

Use of special photocatalytic film to combat viruses and microbial agents (WiWell certified system).

Limited contact between work groups (the “bubble” system).

Continuous information to participants, with reminders of the measures in place and the correct personal behaviour that must be observed.

Furthermore, as indicated by the FIS, a Covid-19 Task Force was set up, consisting of a FIS representative, the Covid-19 Managers from Fondazione Cortina 2021 and FISI, and the coordinator of the medical services of the event. Organized entities participating in the World Championships (teams, broadcasters, SRS, suppliers) are also required to appoint their own Covid-19 Hygiene Manager, responsible for coordinating and verifying the implementation of prevention and control measures for their group.

2. THE “BUBBLE” SYSTEM

To facilitate social distancing, the Championships will adopt the “bubble” system proposed by FIS. It is an ecosystem of homogeneous working groups, each seeking to minimise outside contacts and the sharing of physical spaces during the event. In this way, it will be possible to preserve the principle of isolation of the various groups, avoiding interactions between them during their entire stay in Cortina. The bubbles are identified by different colours:

Red bubble: teams (athletes, coaches, team doctors, physiotherapists, ski men, accompanying persons), FIS personnel, jury personnel, timing staff, SRS, anti-doping staff, medical staff and medical rescue staff.

Yellow bubble: media, such as journalists, photographers, host broadcaster operators, external broadcaster operators.

Blue bubble organization staff, volunteers, support staff, law enforcement agencies, suppliers.

Green bubble: guests and authorities.
In addition to the indications contained in the Prevention and Hygiene Protocol, each bubble will be required to scrupulously follow additional indications.

3. TESTS

One of the pillars of the risk containment plan during the World Championships consists of extensive Covid-19 testing to be carried out before and during the event. The continuous screening will make it possible to identify any positives early and remove these as soon as possible from their respective bubbles, and proceed with immediate tracking action.

Given the number of people to be tested, the process is divided into 2 phases:

A series of pre-event tests:

at the responsibility and expense of the accredited, PCR test, for teams and media; a test must be done 8/10 days before access to Cortina, a second test must be done within 72 hours prior to collecting the accreditation;

provided by the organisation, rapid antigen test, for staff, volunteers and suppliers;

A series of tests during the event, rapid antigen test, to be repeated every 3 days, max 4 days in the event of force majeure or particular organizational difficulties. If positive, a verification RT-PCR swab is performed immediately and the subject is quarantined.

During the two weeks of world championship races, tests will be carried out in Fiames, Piè Tofana, Ronzuòs and Stadio Apollonio, seeking to make the flow of vehicles and people as efficient as possible.

Users will be notified of the place and time for the test at least 24 hours in advance. After the test, the result will be communicated by the health staff in person or remotely, with immediate insertion of the test result on the accreditation platform of the event. If positive, a molecular test will be carried out.

In the event of a positive rapid antigen test, and the confirmation of positive result by the subsequent PCR test, measures of removal from the bubble, isolation, quarantine, and contact tracing, will be taken immediately.

In order to minimise the burden on the National Health Service, Fondazione Cortina 2021 has proposed a public-private collaboration to manage the operation of antigen testing. The only contact for the project, with responsibility for validating the Protocol and issuing the guidelines for carrying out the PCR and antigen tests on site, is the Azienda Sanitaria AULSS 1 Dolomiti, while the private operator is the Croce Bianca of Bolzano, a reality strongly rooted in the Ampezzo social fabric.

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