News summary on August 9

Latvia continues to prepare badminton tournament Yonex Latvia International to restore life in World badminton tournament calendar. 
It’s motivation for players, coaches, umpires, sponsors, fans and the media. 

We use the fact that Latvia is one of the most secure Covid-19 countries of Europe.
In addition, there is a government protocol in Latvia – players from Covid-19 “blacklist” countries can also participate in the competition, including Yonex Latvia International 2020.

Borders are open, travel is allowed everywhere in Europe. Can also travel from Covid-19 blacklist countries, but in a normal situation everyone would have a limit to apply 14-day self-isolation. 
But participants of the badminton tournament Yonex Latvia International may fail to comply with the 14-day self-isolation if they can show a negative Covid-19 test performed before the Latvian border, as well as perform a repeat test within 24 hours in Latvia. In my opinion, very proportionate requirements.

New “blacklist” countries
The list of countries is currently the following, but it changes every week. There is no reason to grieve those who are on this list now, there is no reason not to worry those who are not on the list now. Everything can change. No one can say anything.
Here you can find an address to a document in English about countries.
https://www.spkc.gov.lv/lv/valstu-saslimstibas-raditaji-ar-covid-19-0

Participants  don’t have 14-day self-insulation
Previously, I wrote that participants from Covid-19 “blacklist” countries would initially have to be quarantined in Hotel in Rīga. It won’t be necessary. The players who come to Latvia will initially go for the Covid-19 test, then go to hotel. Before the results of the Latvian test have not been received (by e-mail), the players have to comply with self-isolation (there are no contacts with other players, public transport, supermarkets, etc.).
We will continue to negotiate with the laboratory on the price of the service. In Latvia Covid-19 tests are currently officially cost €59. I think we’ll be able to negotiate discounts and barter, but we don’t promise it yet. We can’t pay these tests for our own money, but we will seek refunds with free pizza and snack kits and other gifts from our sponsors.
The laboratories are both in Riga and Jelgava.

Ranking after unfreezing
I’ve received a lot of questions about the world ranking. On Friday, BWF sent out its Memo. The results of the Latvian tournament will certainly be included in the ranking, but the BWF world ranking will not be immediately unfrozen, as it is not yet clear whether and when the next tournament will take place. The results of the Latvian tournament will be included once the ranking is unfrozen.

Withdrawal without penalty
A lot of questions about whether BWF will apply $150 in penalties to players who won’t participate in the tournament because of Covid-19.
Referring to information from Badminton Europe, that “no penalties are imposed”.
It must be correct here! Unpunished withdrawals must be linked to Covid-19.

Canceling the tournament?
Are there circumstances why the Latvian tournament may have been canceled? Yes of course there are! 
First – It may also be the Governments’ decision to shut down borders again, cancel trips.
Second – if Latvia enters the Covid-19 blacklist by 21 August. Thus we would create problems for all participants;
Third – We will have to cancel any of the events (not tournament) when there are fewer than 8 participants in any of the events or everyone will be from one country only. But I hope it doesn’t happen because the number of participants announced is high.

Recommendation:
* Continuing training for Latvian tournament!
* Save your entry! If there are problems with Covid-19, there will still be a chance to withdraw!
* Plan your trip, plan accommodation, plan your caterering, but do not make any unthinked prepayment bookings at this difficult time!

Tournament responsibility
We don’t ask to prepay for entry fees, accommodation, catering, training options etc.
Just as players have no responsibility for withdrawal, tournament organisers have limited liability this year. It is possible that the “black list” counties changing, borders are closing again, that travel rules are changing, new restrictions arise. No one can insure it and compensate it afterwards…
But currently Latvia and Jelgava are open. We are looking forward to the participants in the Yonex Latvia International. We promise good conditions to play and practice, as always in Jelgava. Together we can restore the Badminton calendar around the world.

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