Richmond still hosting international hockey tournament, despite coronavirus spread

The world’s largest international hockey tournament that’s coming to Richmond later the month will go ahead, despite concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

The CARHA Hockey World Cup is set to take place from March 29 to April 3 at the city’s ice rinks, attracting nearly 3,000 athletes representing 140 teams from 15 countries.

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The tournament is held every four years and is back on the West Coast for the first time since 2000.

Organizers announced Monday that they are “monitoring developments with respect to COVID-19 (coronavirus)” and are “following all recommended guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).”

“Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available,” said Lucy Peeling, CARHA Hockey’s manager of special events and programs, adding that PHAC has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada.

“Furthermore, CARHA Hockey is considering every safeguard to ensure the safety of the participants, officials, volunteers and fans who will converge on the City of Richmond is being taken.”

Steps include hand sanitizers being available in every dressing room, at the opening ceremonies, closing ceremonies, tournament headquarters and the athletes village.

Dressing rooms will be sanitized after each game and teams are being asked to replace the traditional postgame handshake with a fist pump (gloves on).

International entries for the 2020 CARHA World Cup include Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Russia, Slovakia, Italy, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Kazakhstan.

The CARHA Hockey World Cup includes a Parade of Athletes as the attendees march into the opening ceremonies after travelling from around the world, an athletes’ village throughout the tournament at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel (host hotel) and, lastly, the closing ceremonies.

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