The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) has reported on how it is addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, given the various restrictions in place to slow the spread of the virus. IARU said the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Headquarters in Geneva remains off limits to visitors until April 17 at the earliest. ITU has cancelled some meetings, postponed others, and converted others into online gatherings. IARU representatives are adjusting plans accordingly and following a similar pattern.
While Dayton Hamvention has canceled its 2020 show, Europe’s largest amateur radio gathering, HAM RADIO in Friedrichshafen, Germany, is still scheduled for June 26 – 28. IARU plans to have a two-part booth, with one dedicated for youth. Whether the event will take place is unknown at this time.
IARU Region 2 Emergency Communications and Satellite Communications workshops set for May 30 – 31 in Trinidad and Tobago will now be held online. IARU reports that interest and registrations have surged since the announcement. These workshops will be held in English, but preparations are under way for workshops in Spanish to be held later.
IARU Region 3 has cancelled its first Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) Camp that had been planned for Rayong, Thailand, in early October.
World Amateur Radio Day is April 18, this year celebrating the 95th anniversary of the IARU’s founding. IARU has allowed that amateur radio “is the best way to practice social distancing.”
IARU Region 1 (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) has asked member-societies to “reconsider their position” on Field Day events over the next few months.
“Field Days bring radio amateurs together and, therefore, represent an environment where social distancing is difficult to achieve,” IARU Region 1 President Don Beattie, G3BJ, said. “We must recognize that many radio amateurs are in the older, higher-risk age groups.” IARU will not sponsor the Region 1 HF CW Field Day in June but said national societies have to make their own decisions as to whether their Field Day events will go forward.
Beattie said single-operator contests “remain a great way for those forced to stay at home to enjoy the magic of amateur radio.”