The International University Sports Federation (FISU) announced the decision, in tandem with the local organizing committee, to require the members of each delegation attending Lucerne 2021 to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Those arriving in Switzerland will also be required to undergo a PCR test before participating in any capacity at the Games.
According to a statement released by the FISU, “The joint decision to request a full vaccination of the delegation members came after discussions with local authorities and was the best compromise found to be able to maintain the major international multi-sport event for student-athletes, while protecting the local population and the participants in the most effective way possible.”
FISU Secretary General-CEO Eric Saintrond commented, “It is unfortunate that we have had to come down to this, but I do believe that it was the only way that we could create an environment suitable to protect the participants, the spectators and the population of the areas where the competitions are taking place.”
He continued, “On a more positive note, we are really excited by the 58 National University Sports Federations who have already announced their participation in this 30th edition of the FISU Winter Universiade, despite the difficult conditions. Seeing such a strong participation is proof that together we will be able to make this event – as well as the dreams and aspirations of many – come true.”
While Saintrond mentioned spectators in his comments, there has yet to be official confirmation that spectators will be allowed to attend the Games. It is also unclear if proof of vaccination would be required for potential spectators to enter venues during the Games.
These topics are sure to be on FISU’s agenda as the Games creep closer. The 2021 Lucerne Winter Universiade, originally scheduled for January but pushed back due to the pandemic, is now due to begin with the curling competition on December 6. The Games are scheduled to open proper on December 11 and close on December 21.
Lucerne 2021 will begin shortly after the inaugural edition of the Junior Pan American Games wrap up. The event in Colombia runs from November 25 to December 5.