Countries of the World Benchrest Shooting Federation
Greetings to you all from South Africa.
I trust all are still healthy and doing well.
As indicated in our previous update of 25 September 2020, it was agreed that we will make a final decision in November 2020, on the hosting date of WBC16.
We have deliberately waited until the end of November 2020 to evaluate the Covid-19 situation here in South Africa as well as in the rest of the world.
Currently, the situation in South Africa has not improved as we hoped for and the daily Covid-19 infection rate is still as high as what it was in September 2020. In certain of our provinces the infection rates are now even higher than what were experienced in September 2020. The rate of fatalities in our country is thankfully down which we attribute to improved medical knowledge on how to treat the illness. South Africa is currently still in lockdown, although a large number of restrictions were lifted to allow our bruised economy some opportunity to recover.
Our international borders were opened a week ago with strict conditions for entry. Visitors from a number of countries with high infection rates are however still barred from visiting South Africa.
Looking at the rest of the world, we are of the opinion that it the situation has also not really improved. The talks of an effective vaccine are very positive and wonderful news, but indications are that the vaccines will only become available later in 2021. The most positive indications are that vaccines will be freely available by mid-2021. Best guess of availability in Africa and in particular South Africa is later than that.
Our medical experts are of the opinion that, based on the current situation in the world and the available information, Covid-19 will be a thread to us all until at best late in 2021. We have also approached our national sports authorities on the hosting prospects of WBC16 and their advice is to postpone the event until after 2021. They foresee that the current restrictions on sporting events will remain in place until late, if not the end of 2021. That implies that if any person is tested positive at the event planned for September 2021, the event will be cancelled with immediate effect.
Based on the above, the organising team of WBC16, in consultation with the South African Benchrest Shooting Federation has therefore decided to not take any risk with the health and wellbeing of our competitors and to cancel the WBC16 event planned for September 2021. If the WBC management is in agreement that the event remain in South Africa, the event would be postponed until September 2023. We propose the September date as it appears to suit most competitors.
We trust that the above will be to the agreement of the WBC management and the delegates of the participating WBC countries.
We are indeed living in unfamiliar times.
Kobus Visser (Pr Eng