FINA has implemented COVID-19 safety protocols for all credentialed individuals ahead of the upcoming World Aquatics Championships that begin on June 18 in Budapest, Hungary.
Vaccines are not required for credentialing, and Hungary is no longer requiring a COVID-19 test to enter the country. FINA, however, has implemented its own regulations – albeit only for credentialed individuals and not for spectators.
- A negative PCR or Antigen test is required 48 hours prior to traveling to Budapest
- Upon arrival, a PCR and Antigen test are required, and mask wearing is mandatory until those tests come back negative. After that, mask wearing is optional.
- Upon a positive test, close contacts will not be disqualified from the meet or required to isolate if they are vaccinated, unless they test positive as well. Those close contacts will be tested more regularly. Close contacts who are not vaccinated must remain in isolation until at least the 5th day of the meet.
These regulations are more lenient than those in place at the World Short Course Championships in Doha in December. There, several athletes were removed from competition after testing positive, and in at least one case, an entire delegation, Nigeria, was removed after one team official, who had minimal contact with athletes, tested positive.
The prevalence of at-home testing has made it harder to accurately track the COVID-19 pandemic, though official reporting in Hungary shows very low case counts. The Omicron variant, as well as subvariants thereof, have led to increases in case counts in much of this world, though these variants combined with improved treatments have resulted in fewer, though still significant, death counts than previous waves.
The variants are still highly contagious, however, and if an infection spread throughout a team, it could substantially impact performance at the meet, even though most athletes are in lower-risk groups.