Following the recent positive information regarding outdoor activities issued by the Public Health Agency of Sweden, the staff at Vätternrundan are working hard to arrange their events infection-safe between 11th – 19th June.
– Should it transpire that it will not be possible to hold the events in June, we have also a date in reserve in September, says Gunilla Brynell-Johansson, CEO for Vätternrundan.
In a report to the Government in mid-January, the Public Health Agency of Sweden proposed that outdoor events over unbounded areas should be exempt from participant restrictions; on the condition that the spread of infection decreases and that the organiser can ensure that congestion can be avoided.
It was a positive message, says Gunilla Brynell-Johansson. The report, and the new pandemic law, allow for a greater diversity of different events. Based on that message, our plan is to go ahead with the Bike Week between June 11th–19th finishing with Vätternrundan 315 km on 18th–19th June.
– We are humble in the knowledge that there are many factors that are beyond our control. Our participants, volunteers and partners are our first priority and it is paramount that we adapt the events in compliance with the situation at hand.
With an arena that stretches for tens of miles, congestion on the roads is not a major problem. What we are planning for is above all adjustments at the start, finish and depots. For example; it will be about limiting the time you as a participant can be in the start area before the start, affecting and securing an infection-safe flow in the depots and to adapt the finish-zone so as to avoid congestion.
– We are working hard with guidelines and protocols to secure the events, says Oskar Sundblad, marketing manager for Vätternrundan. We are studying everything, from the simple things such as informing participants to lead their bikes with their right hand and thereby create a natural distance, to major changes at the finish where we can guide the cyclists on different paths when they have completed the event. The Bike Week will not look the same as in previous years but it will take place.
At Vätternrundan we are collaborating with other major events in Sweden, both in dialogue with the Public Health Agency and also by working with infection-control measures in the form of protocols and routines. In addition we are also in close dialogue with the regional infection control unit.
– We feel safe with the contacts we have forged and the input we are receiving from both the Public Health Agency and the infection-control unit in Region Östergötland, even though they currently cannot give any definite information about what will happen in June, says Gunilla Brynell-Johansson.
The reserve plan – To arrange the events in September
Should it prove impossible to arrange the Bike Week in June as planned, we have a back-up plan in place. The alternative would then be move the events to 2nd–5th September.
In which case: MTB-Vättern will run on 2nd September, Vätternrundan 315 km on 3rd–4th September, Halvvättern, Tjejvättern and Vätternrundan 100 km on 5th September.
– We are committed to arranging the Bike Week in June and that is what we working toward, says Oskar Sundblad. That said, we have also gone through the alternatives and have come to the conclusion that it would also work to arrange the events in September in a beneficial way for all involved. We continue to work with June as our first alternative.
– If new developments arise that effect the planned vaccination and the spread of infection, then we would expect to announce the move of events by mid-April.