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Closed borders will put paid to international racing

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A new problem has started to emerge and it is threatening any hopes of international powerboat racing anytime soon.

As countries start to come out of lock down and give freedoms back to their people, the one thing that they are not going to revert back to quickly, is freedom of movement.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have agreed to open their borders to each others’ citizens from May 15. Travellers will be able to travel freely – but a Baltic barrier will block tourists from the neighbouring nations of Russia, Belarus and Poland, as well as travellers by air and sea from elsewhere.

All three countries have active international competitors and host UIM events, for the foreseeable future, they will only be able to race amongst themselves.

For anyone arriving from outside the bloc, they will be required to spend 14 days in quarantine.

From Monday, Norway’s entire school system should reopen, one of the first European countries to take such a step with further restoration of freedoms to follow.

However, prime minister Erna Solberg has given no indication on how long the borders will be closed.

Right now it looks very likely that countries that have got on top of the COVID-19 infection rates will not be keen to welcome back tourists or powerboat racers for that matter.

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John Moore

John raced Offshore UIM Class 3 in the 1980’s & 1990’s.
He served as the Cowes Torquay Cowes Event Director for 4 years, including running the 50 th Anniversary Event in 2010.
He has recently organised 4 British Offshore races under UKOPRA sanction.
He is the Editor of Powerboat Racing World.

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