The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) published an update for 2023 road events pertaining to COVID-19 health protocol and new “considerably lighter” rules took effect today for all classes of road events.
One of the major changes is that teams and personnel will no longer be required to provide a health pass, vaccination certificate or negative COVID-19 test before competitions. The use of face coverings for riders and team members is still requested for start areas, but an event organiser could also apply the measure to other personnel and areas depending on the “pandemic situation”.
“As part of the updated protocol, and in view of the clearly favourable evolution of the international health situation, the requirements imposed on the teams in terms of health passes, vaccinations and/or Covid tests have been lifted,” read a statement from the UCI on the updated protocols for events and teams.
“Organisers will be required to communicate the degree of health risk in the area where their event will take place (green, orange or red zone) before the event. Depending on the category, measures – recommended, desirable or compulsory – may be taken. Additional measures could be taken for the Grand Tours, depending on the epidemiological situation at the time.”
The rules apply to all UCI road races of the UCI WorldTour, UCI Women’s WorldTour, UCI ProSeries, Class 1 and Class 2, Continental Road Championships, UCI Road World Championships and UCI Nations Cup, as well as the Elite and U23 categories, Women and Men, and the Junior categories for the Continental and UCI Road World Championships.
Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) was the latest rider to test positive for COVID-19 before a race, which occurred in pre-Tour Down Under team testing, but he was able to re-test and start the event days later at the opening prologue. Australian COVID-19 rules do not currently include an obligatory isolation period.
While a 14-person steering committee, led by UCI Medical Director Professor Xavier Bigard, found that cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus had significantly decreased around the globe in most countries, the original virus, SARS-CoV-2, was still circulating in variant forms. Joining Prof Bigard on the steering committee were Dr Matthias Baumann, president of the UCI Medical Commission, four WorldTour team physicians and representatives of riders and organisations.
On the event side, organisers were asked to secure feed zones by not allowing…