Dear President, Dear General Secretary, Dear Supporter
I am writing to you on behalf of EBSA Board of Directors, EBSA Tournament Committee and the Host Association (Federation of Portuguese Billiards (FPBilhar)), with an update in relation to COVID-19.
EBSA Board have taken advice from a number of organisations, including UK Government, Public Health Departments, Epidemiologists, IOC, a number of NOCs and a range of health professionals. Upon all this advice, EBSA Tournament Committee in discussion with FPBilhar, have agreed that the Championships will still take place as planned. EBSA are aware that a small number of large-scale events (particularly in highly affected areas) have been cancelled/postponed, although the latest information (UK Government, today) is that most events planned within the coming weeks should still go ahead as planned.
EBSA and FPBilhar are preparing information and resources to provide to everyone on arrival, to support them with their own protection. This information is widely available across many official/government sources.
FPBilhar met with Government Officials yesterday, including the Portuguese Directorate for Health to discuss the Championships and plan contingencies in case of any outbreak of COVID-19 in Portugal near/involving the championships. A clear plan has been agreed and is in place with the local health authorities should anyone become unwell or show symptoms of the virus.
Clearly, what is important is that everyone travelling feels safe and supported. EBSA would request that you contact everyone travelling to the championships to remind them of the precautions that they should take, especially if they have recently travelled from countries affected by the virus.
EBSA recognise that there may be some restrictions on travel, and completely understand that some people may not wish to travel to the championships. All we would ask is that you share any changes with us. If any of your players, referees, etc., have decided not to travel to the Championships please tell us NOW. We can then cancel hotel rooms, change playing schedules and players’ groups well in advance of the start of competitions. It is very unhelpful to find out on the first day of the Championships that players will not be arriving. Where EBSA have not been notified in advance that anyone cannot travel, the usual policy for no-shows/withdrawals will be applied (entry fee charge , plus one night accommodation (as per hotel policy). This is why it is particularly important for you to ensure that everyone travelling from your country confirms their attendance or otherwise with you in the coming days.
We will provide updates on the situation as needed.
Director, General Secretary
European Billiards and Snooker Association