Birkie COVID-19 Statement: The Canadian Birkebeiner Society (CBS) Safety and Environmental Management Plan strictly follows the Alberta Health Services COVID-19 guidelines at time of the event. These guidelines may change at any time prior and during the event. The health and safety of our CBS staff, volunteers and skiers is our first priority, and our plan mitigates health risks by wearing appropriate and required personal protective equipment, by practicing two metre social distancing at all times, and completion of mandatory health pre-screening questionnaires.
Cancellation: Given the current world situation, there is a possibility that the 13, 31, and 55 km ski events could be cancelled due to the pandemic. If this happens skiers’ registrations will be carried forward to the 2022 Canadian Birkie.
Protocols: Under the guidance of Alberta Health Services and Nordiq Alberta, the Canadian Birkebeiner Society (CBS), is taking the following necessary precautions to stop the spread of coronavirus:
1. Health Questionnaire: All skiers must complete a mandatory health questionnaire the morning of their race to determine their health and exposure.
- Mail out – Hard copies of the questionnaire will be mailed out in advance of race day to all participants.
- Website – An electronic copy will be accessible on the Birkie website.
2. Social Distancing: Skiers and volunteers are asked to stand two metres (6 ft.) apart from each other.
- No Mass Start – Skiers will start their ski race in sets of twos. Timing anklets will begin timing as the skier crosses the start line.
- Safe Waves – Every effort is made to send faster skiers out in the first wave and slower skiers out in the last two waves to decrease passing.
- Tracks – The course consists of two sets of tracks that are six feet apart.
3. Masks Required: Skiers and volunteers must wear a mask while in the staging area. They must wear their mask walking to and from their vehicle, to and from the start/finish line and while waiting to start the race. Participants are encouraged to wear masks while skiing and at aid stations, but it is not mandatory.
- Free Masks: Birkie will mail all in-person skiers a FREE two-layer cloth mask along with their bib in advance of the event. There is a pocket in the mask to add your own filter.
- Drop Off/Pick Up: Drivers dropping off and picking up skiers at staging areas must wear a mask in their vehicles to enter.
- Enforcement: People not wearing a mask in the staging area will be asked to leave immediately.
4. No Congregating: Volunteers will set up the start/finish areas to discourage congregating and decrease touch points.
- No Festival Tent or Change Trailers: There will be no festival tent, change trailers, clothing tent, warm up facilities or fire pits.
- No Wax or Warm Up Areas: There will not be wax stations or warm up tracks on site. Please wax skis before arriving at the staging area.
- No Medals: There will be no podium or awards ceremony on site. Medals will not be given or sent out.
- No Spectators: As there is a limit to the number of people allowed on site at a given time, spectators will not be allowed to watch the event at the staging areas or along the course.
- No Bus Shuttles: To decrease close quarters, there are no bus shuttles available. Participants can carpool with people from their cohort and park on site. They can also arrange to get picked up and dropped off.
Find the latest Nordiq Alberta’s Return to Sport Guidelines here.