The coronavirus pandemic is still raging and Asian countries continue to be vigilant. Orienteering activities have not completely resumed, and are at the mercy of the pandemic and the related restrictions. Here are some developments in Asia during the summer:
1. Next Asian Championships in 2022 continue to be in South Korea
Like most major events sanctioned by the International Orienteering Federation (IOF), the Asian Championships (AsOC) are also directly postponed to the next time slot, which in this case means 2022. South Korea continues to organise the rescheduled AsOC, planned for May 2022.
It’s highly likely, but not explicitly confirmed, that AsOC 2022 will also be held in Pohang on the east coast, as originally planned for 2020.
2. New pandemic wave affects orienteering
The second wave of coronavirus is ravaging the world (Hongkongers pointedly call it the third wave as the first wave came from Mainland China). This means that governments are tightening restrictions again, casting doubt on restarting orienteering activities.
In Hong Kong, for example, this worry has caused the cancellation or postponement of many events, previously scheduled for this summer.
Local events at a smaller scale, however, are still likely to be allowed and ongoing. Taiwan, for example, has relatively few restrictions and continue to see regular orienteering meetups, for example a drunk orienteering event (!) by Moxina last Saturday, 11 July.
3. Travel still restricted, but talks on travel corridors are hopeful
European countries are reopening borders to restart travel, and orienteering is restarting in Europe. Asian countries, however, tend to be more cautious and resist temptations to relax restrictions too early.
So, the announcement from the IOF that World Ranking Events (WRE) will be allowed again from 1 August, will probably be of little use to Asian WRE events. Talks on travel corridors, whereby citizens of countries with low infection rates are allowed to visit each other, are under way, though, such as the one between Thailand and Hong Kong that was reported on the latter’s South China Morning Post.
Right now, orienteering events in Asia are exclusively catered to local orienteers, and every opportunity to practice the sport is well appreciated and treasured.
Take care of each other, and stay safe
It’ll be a long fight against the coronavirus, and many will lose their livelihoods and become psychologically burdened, if not starving. It’s not just about viruses and surgical masks—take care of each other, and stay safe!