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Coronavirus Fears Spur Cancellation, Postponement of Some Ham Radio Events

03/06/2020

Additional amateur radio events have been cancelled or postponed as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) fears.

The Japan Amateur Radio League (JARL) has announced the cancellation of several amateur radio events planned for March, in the wake of a government policy requesting that events be canceled, postponed, or reduced in size for the next 2 weeks, saying “events that attract large numbers of people have a large risk of infection.” JARL subsequently requested that all events scheduled in that time frame be canceled or postponed. Affected events include the West Nippon Ham Fair on March 8, the Chugoku Regional Amateur Radio Direction Finding Competition on March 15, and the Kagawa Ham Festival on March 22.

West Nippon Ham Fair organizers said they considered postponing the event for 6 months, but concluded there was no certainty that the coronavirus situation would be resolved by then.

Members of the Nara DX Association Japan have postponed the planned V6J IOTA DXpedition to Murilo Island in the Hall Islands at least until next year or later. “We hope the propagation will be better then,” the group said. “We hope spreading of coronaviruses will be stopped right away.”

In England, the Wythall Radio Club decided this week to cancel its March 15 hamfest. “As a responsible club, we have taken this step to minimize any risks to the expected 400+ visitors and traders from the COVID-19 virus, due to the uncertainties regarding the spread of the virus,” the club said.

In late February, Alex Gromme, 5B4ALX, postponed his March 18 – April 2 T30ET DXpedition to Tarawa (West Kiribati) because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Kiribati Ministry of Health told Gromme that he would need to be quarantined for 14 days in Honiara, Solomon Islands, before getting medical approval to continue on to Kiribati. He’s now looking at October 2020, assuming the COVID-19 situation is resolved by then.

Travel restrictions imposed on individuals entering American Samoa as a result of the coronavirus outbreak caused Swains Island W8S DXpedition organizers to postpone that DXpedition until later in the year. The team members were unable to comply with a 14-day mandatory quarantine in Hawaii. The DXpedition announced tentative dates of September 23 – October 6. — Thanks to JARL, Southgate Amateur Radio News, OPDX

 



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