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Will the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships in Bermuda be able to go ahead?

New restrictions put in place will make it difficult for Bermuda to host the upcoming world championships

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

As Bermuda reels with a wave of the Delta variant of COVID-19 (10,000 people – a sixth of the country’s population, are in quarantine), a newspaper report in Bermuda’s Royal Gazette sheds some doubt on whether or not the upcoming World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships slated for October 15 to 17 will be able to take place.

According to the article the country has returned to “Stage 1 of the Return to Play protocals” which means that the football season has been delayed and that other sporting events will be affected. Included among those is this weekend’s Bermuda Cycling Academy Road Race, which has been cancelled.

Stage 1 protocols allow for a maximum group of 20 for training with no contact, no fans and physical distancing requirements.

“We understand the social, cultural, psychological and economic benefit of such events, however, given the country’s current coronavirus concerns, the ministry will be applying more strict criteria in considering events,” Ernest Peets, Bermuda’s sports minister, is quoted in the article. “This is to ensure that risk can be minimised while allowing events of material cultural and economic significance to take place safely. So, effective immediately, indoor events will not be supported and the need for large gatherings to occur will be assessed with increased scrutiny.”

“While the new criteria will not be retroactive in their entirety, we will be reviewing all previously approved events within the next month to consider any risks and mitigations necessary, and contacting any organisers affected,” Peets continued. “Curtailing sports attendance and training protocols and reducing the number of large-group exemptions are measures that will help contain the current outbreak, so it is necessary to assist in reversing the trend.”

Just 66 per cent of Bermuda’s population are fully vaccinated.

Related: Duffy dominates Olympic triathlon

Bermuda has been looking forward to hosting the world championships and using the event to celebrate Flora Duffy’s (pictured above) recent gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. It was recently announced that October 18th would become a public holiday to celebrate the country’s only gold medal.