UIAA STATEMENT ON COVID-19 – CALL FOR CAUTION AND OPTIMISM
On 4 August, the UIAA Covid-19 Crisis Consultation (CCC) Taskforce held its fourth online meeting. The meeting notes are available here, while all UIAA activity related to Covid-19 can be consulted through the dedicated Portal.
Following the 4 August meeting and in analysing valuable feedback from CCC Taskforce members worldwide as well as competent international health organisations, the UIAA believes exercising caution remains a priority in containing the spread of the virus. The pandemic is clearly one we will have to live with for a significant period. New waves appear inevitable and infection rates will continue to be both localised and erratic.
Climbers and mountaineers have a responsibility to ensure their activities do not have an impact in spreading the virus or stretching already overburdened medical resources. The UIAA makes the following recommendations:
- In general, prudence is required
- Prioritise local (domestic) climbing and outdoor activities
- If travelling further, conduct appropriate research regarding the measures put in place
- Do not assume the rules or conditions will be the same as at home
- Avoid overburdening huts or popular climbing areas
- Follow rules and guidance provided by UIAA members, or relevant authorities
While international travel may soon open up to some previously closed areas, the UIAA would not yet encourage visiting the Himalayas and other regions where health authorities may be quickly tested by a spike in infections caused by the sudden arrival of numerous foreign visitors. Unless for important reasons, travel between continents is not advised. The UIAA itself has suspended all international meetings and conferences in 2020. Discussions will continue to take place electronically including the 2020 UIAA General Assembly.
While the current situation is testing for all climbers and mountaineers, there are reasons for optimism in relation to the scientific progress of vaccinations and research. Better times will come. In the meantime, climbing is possible in most of the UIAA member countries and there are many responsible ways to embrace it.
The UIAA – International Climbing & Mountaineering Federation – has published a number of resources related to Covid-19.
Reports from the meetings of the UIAA Covid-19 Crisis Consultation (CCC) task force.