Badminton England has been closely monitoring the ongoing situation regarding the coronavirus. We are in regular, daily contact with the relevant health authorities in the UK and are also working closely with the Badminton World Federation and Arena Birmingham to monitor the situation.
Currently, Public Health England are not advising changing plans around sporting events, and consequently, Badminton England is continuing with its plans to host the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships. However, this is an evolving situation and we will rightly keep their advice under review.
The UK is extremely well prepared for these types of outbreaks – we are one of the first countries in the world to develop a test for the new virus – and the health and wellbeing of the players, officials, volunteers, fans and staff at the event is our number one priority.
Our aim is to ensure that a number of procedures and processes are in place to minimise the potential impact of the virus on them.
Those include the following:
- Working with Arena Birmingham to educate spectators once on-site, and provide both hand sanitiser in shared areas, but also clean facilities
- Continued dialogue with officials at Birmingham International Airport who have processes and procedures in place for incoming visitors
- A plan for the event team at Arena Birmingham to deal with anyone showing symptoms of the virus, along with our own plans and flows regarding assessment, isolation, departing site, and deep clean.
- Detailed guidance and procedures sent to the various governing bodies and competing teams by the Badminton World Federation including for any players or officials who develop flu like symptoms prior to and during the event
- Two Badminton England medical officers attending the Championships for the teams, staying in different hotels, in addition to a fully serviced medical centre and team at the Arena Birmingham
- Badminton England plans to raise awareness of personal hygiene, the virus symptoms, and the recommended responses as part of our internal briefings and publications for the event.
- The addition of a number of scenarios into our risk assessments and contingency plans linked to the coronavirus
There are also a number of personal hygiene measures recommended by the WHO (World Health Organisation) that we are urging people coming to the event to be aware of and which can be found on their website.
As, the Championships remain on course to go ahead as planned, our policy is not to refund tickets if a spectator chooses not to attend. If the advice from the relevant authorities was to cancel or postpone the All England, and we proceeded to do that, full refunds would be offered.
Further updates will be published on the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships website [www.allenglandbadminton.com] and the Badminton England website [www.badmintonengland.co.uk] and our social media channels.
We look forward to welcoming the players, officials, volunteers and fans from across the world to Arena Birmingham from 11- 15 March 2020.