Covid Survivor Perurena Flying Again

(ATR) Hungary opened its borders as the last canoeing tournament in 2020 was held under severe restrictions.

(ATR) The president of the International Canoe Federation José Perurena returns to the air again seven months after his hospitalization for Covid-19.

"I had not traveled since March when I went to Lausanne. Now I was in Szeged, Hungary. But I was not worried," says Perurena to Around the Rings.

"I had had a negative PCR, and I also have antibodies," adds the 75-year-old from Madrid, where new outbreaks of the coronavirus have forced Spanish authorities to resume restrictive measures.

"The trip, all the time, was with a mask. As there are no direct flights to Budapest, we had to fly via Amsterdam. In total, about five hours of travel, with a one-hour stopover included.

"The planes are not full ... When I arrived in Budapest, I presented the result of my test again," says Perurena for whom a car from the organization was waiting at the airport to take him to Szeged, about 140 km (87 miles) away.

"The driver had carried out the PCR the day before," reveals Perurena, who in April 2021 will fulfill his third and last term as the head of the ICF.

By road were the carriers of each country with the transfer of the boats "and they crossed the borders without any problem"

Hungary has closed borders except for international competitions, for which the Government has designed special permits and conditions.

The World Cup of speed and paracanoe had 400 athletes and 33 countries. The authorities required tests for Covid 48 hours before for all athletes, coaches, officials and other personnel involved in the event.

"I personally wanted to confirm all the organizational aspects and the health regulations because in Szeged we will have the European Olympic Qualifying in April," Perurena adds.

Three hotels only reserved for athletes and other personnel linked to the competition, hygienic alcohol and temperature measurement in all places, masks and social distancing of the spectators who entered and left through doors other than those of the athletes, and specific buses for the transfer of the delegations with their certified drivers with negative PCR were among the established sanitary measures for the event.

Several international teams were unable to compete due to international travel restrictions, but those who arrived in Szeged spoke of their excitement about finally being able to compete internationally in 2020.

For many of the athletes it was a valuable impact before the Tokyo Olympics. Several of them are still trying to qualify for the Tokyo Games. A handful of athletes already with their Olympic ticket booked also attended.

Perurena said he was "satisfied" with the strict health and safety conditions at this World Cup.

"It has been more than a week and there was no news of contagion."

Written and reported by Miguel Hernandez

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