COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

On 11th March 2020, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways and is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Since the start of the pandemic, most nations have had measures in place to limit the spread of the virus. These include advice on regular hand-washing and limiting contact with other people, but also more severe restrictions including the cancellation of events and limiting all but essential movement outside of the home and both national and international travel.

Virtus return to competition guidance 

With new Covid-safe measures now in place around the world Virtus, like many sports organisations, hopes to deliver the largest possible competition programme in 2021 and details of all planned events can be found on the calendar page. However, the safety of all participants is paramount and therefore we will be working closely with each Local Organising Committee to ensure that all good practice guidelines are followed, and all local laws and regulations are observed.

To assist organising committees and member organisations in their planning for a return to competition, the Virtus Medical Committee has published a guidance document to ensure the safety of everyone involved. The document will be reviewed regularly and the precise rules for each competition will be amended to reflect local laws and regulations.

Virtus event cancellations
  • 2021 World Skiing Championships (AST) – cancelled
  • 2021 World Cycling Championships – to be a virtual event
  • 2021 World Judo Championships (FRA) – cancelled
  • 2021 World Tennis Championships (BEL) – cancelled
  • 2021 World Table Tennis Championships (THA) – cancelled
  • 2021 World Futsal Championships (POR) – rescheduled to February 2022

Please note that the following events are also currently subject to review:

  • World Swimming Championships (BRA)
Virtus advice to athletes and member organisations
The most important advice is to follow the guidance issued by your national government or health authority. 

You can also follow the global advice and updates given by the World Health Organisation.

The International Paralympic Committee has further advice in respect of qualification events to Tokyo 2020.


The symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
What you should do

There are simple steps that you can take to protect yourself from the virus.

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or immediately before and after training
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • do not share water bottles
  • do not exchange objects (eg. towels) with other people and wipe down all equipment after training with an antibacterial spray

Should an athlete be selected for antidoping testing in the coming weeks, hand sanitizer should only be used after the test. Before testing, hands must be washed only with water in compliance with WADA regulation.


As far as is practically possible, Virtus continues to maintain business as normal. However the Governing Board and staff are very conscious that some areas of the world and some members face particular difficulties at the current time, and our best wishes go to anyone who has been affected.