WKF hails success of COVID-19 Test Event in Lisbon

The World Karate Federation has highlighted the success of the WKF COVID-19 Test Event which was held in Lisbon (Portugal) this past weekend. The Protocol to adapt Karate events to the new situation of the coronavirus pandemic was effectively analysed at the event.

Following the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the WKF issued a set of procedures to adjust Karate tournaments to the new reality. This Protocol was tested at the event this weekend, the first international gathering that has been held by the WKF in nearly ten months. With the safety of all the participants as the main goal, the WKF COVID-19 Protocol aims at guaranteeing the best conditions for the practise of the sport amid the current circumstances.

A WKF COVID Event Medical Team will now overview all WKF major events. Composed by the WKF COVID Manager, the LOC COVID doctor, and the LOC COVID staff, the WKF COVID Event Medical Team has the objective of following the sanitary local measures and safeguarding the correct application of the new WKF Protocol. Among these procedures, a PCR test and health assessment will be required for all the accredited persons at the event. All the participants will undergo an antigen test prior to their access to the venue, with competitors being tested each competition day.

Social distancing and the mandatory use of certified masks (FFP2 type or equivalent such as N95 (United States), KN95 (China), P2 (Australia/New Zealand), Korea 1st Class (Korea), and DS2 (Japan)) will be strengthened. While referees, coaches, staff members, and journalists are obliged to wear the certified mask at all times, competitors will be exempt from the use of masks during the warming-up and during the bouts.

Participants will access the venue per category, with limited admission to the different areas. A specific signage system will be established at the venue, and all the accredited persons will be required to comply with the recommended directions inside the sports hall.

Both the field of play and the warm-up areas will be constantly sanitised. Physical contact - outside the normal practice of the bouts – will be avoided, and even the awarding ceremonies will be held keeping social distancing measures.

All these procedures were successfully tested in Lisbon during the weekend. In order to share the message and to make the whole Karate world familiar with the new protocol, the WKF will publish a video documentary with the highlights of the WKF Test Event in Lisbon. The video will be available on the WKF YouTube channel and all the WKF platforms by next week.

"Karate is ready to go back to the tatamis. Many National Federations are already resuming their activities; After issuing our complete COVID-19 Protocol, and after the test this weekend, we believe that we are prepared to host our major international events. We have waited for too long to see our beloved sport in action again but now we are absolutely certain that we can return to activity with guarantees for our competitors, officials and staff members," said WKF President Antonio Espinós.

"We can’t thank the Portuguese Karate Federation, its president Carlos Silva and the fantastic team of the Portuguese Karate Federation enough for their outstanding hard work this weekend, and for their efforts to make this event a huge success. With cooperation such as the one we have received from the Portuguese Karate Federation, we are sure that the bright future of our sport is guaranteed," added Mr Espinós.

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