COVID-19 and the IARU HF World Championship

The IARU HF World Cham­pi­onship is lit­tle more than two months away. It is essen­tial that the glob­al COVID-19 pan­dem­ic must be tak­en into account when plan­ning par­tic­i­pa­tion, includ­ing by IARU mem­ber-soci­ety HQ sta­tion teams.

Mul­ti Oper­a­tor and IARU Mem­ber Soci­ety HQ Sta­tion oper­a­tions must adhere strict­ly to the reg­u­la­tions and phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing guide­lines issued by the respon­si­ble health author­i­ties and the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion and in effect at the time of the event, even if observ­ing the guide­lines is not legal­ly required in their loca­tions. This require­ment also applies to Sin­gle Oper­a­tor sta­tions and espe­cial­ly to those host­ing guest oper­a­tors. This may reduce par­tic­i­pa­tion but it is vital that the IARU, its mem­ber soci­eties, and indi­vid­ual radio ama­teurs behave as respon­si­ble mem­bers of the glob­al community.

Radio ama­teurs should always look for oppor­tu­ni­ties to address com­mu­ni­ca­tion chal­lenges through the appli­ca­tion of tech­nol­o­gy. Grow­ing num­bers of sta­tions includ­ing Mul­ti Oper­a­tor sta­tions are capa­ble of being oper­at­ed remote­ly. The IARU encour­ages their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the HF World Cham­pi­onship wher­ev­er nation­al reg­u­la­tions permit.

The objec­tive of the IARU HF World Cham­pi­onship is “to sup­port ama­teur self-train­ing in radio­com­mu­ni­ca­tions includ­ing improv­ing ama­teur oper­at­ing skills, con­duct­ing tech­ni­cal inves­ti­ga­tions, and inter­com­mu­ni­cat­ing with oth­er ama­teurs around the world, espe­cial­ly IARU mem­ber soci­ety head­quar­ters sta­tions, using the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10-meter bands.” The spe­cial rules gov­ern­ing IARU Mem­ber Soci­ety HQ Sta­tions allow for mul­ti­ple sites to be used, again sub­ject to nation­al reg­u­la­tions. HQ sta­tions will be able to be active, but pos­si­bly not at their usu­al level.

Plans are being devel­oped for the IARU Head­quar­ters sta­tion, NU1AW, to be oper­at­ed entire­ly remotely.

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Statement by IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH, About World Amateur Radio Day

As I write this the world is in the midst of bat­tling the COVID-19 cri­sis. A few short weeks ago many of us could not imag­ine the lev­els of iso­la­tion that we are now deal­ing with and the sac­ri­fices of many on the front­lines of the pan­dem­ic. As we have done in past chal­lenges to our soci­ety, Ama­teur Radio will play a key part in keep­ing peo­ple con­nect­ed and assist­ing those who need support.

Hav­ing come off my own 14-day iso­la­tion after return­ing from an over­seas trip, I am touched by the kind­ness of strangers who assist­ed me when I was unable to leave my house. It strikes me Ama­teur Radio oper­a­tors, who give so much dur­ing these times of cri­sis, are not lim­it­ed to assist­ing over the air. Ama­teurs are true vol­un­teers and I would encour­age every­one to assist in the com­mu­ni­ty as they are able to.

My wish for this World Ama­teur Radio Day, April 18, is for every­one to stay safe, fol­low the advice of med­ical pro­fes­sion­als and use Ama­teur Radio and your skills to help us through this crisis.

– Tim Ellam, VE6SH, IARU President

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IARU QSL Bureaus and COVID-19

Sev­er­al IARU mem­ber-soci­eties have announced that they are unable to receive ship­ments of QSL cards for their bureaus dur­ing the COVID-19 emer­gency. Before send­ing ship­ments of QSL cards to a nation­al QSL bureau the IARU strong­ly rec­om­mends an inquiry to the mem­ber-soci­ety to con­firm that the pack­age can be accepted.

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How is IARU adjusting to COVID-19?

Here are some notes about how the IARU is deal­ing, as of March 19, with the restric­tions now in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The ITU has can­celled some meet­ings, post­poned oth­ers, and con­vert­ed still oth­ers into E‑meetings with no in-per­son dimen­sion. ITU Head­quar­ters in Gene­va is not acces­si­ble to vis­i­tors until April 17 “at the ear­li­est.” IARU rep­re­sen­ta­tives are adjust­ing their plans accordingly.

The largest ama­teur radio gath­er­ing in Europe, Ham Radio in Friedrichshafen, Ger­many, is still sched­uled for June 26–28 and plans are going for­ward for a two-part IARU stand, includ­ing a ded­i­cat­ed one for youth. Whether the event will take place is unknown at this time.

The IARU Region 1 Exec­u­tive Com­mit­tee was sched­uled to meet April 17–19. A series of vir­tu­al meet­ings will be held instead.

IARU Region 2 was plan­ning work­shops on Emer­gency Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Satel­lite Com­mu­ni­ca­tions in Trinidad & Toba­go, May 30–31, but has announced that the work­shops will be held online instead. Inter­est and reg­is­tra­tions have surged since the announce­ment. These work­shops will be held in Eng­lish but prepa­ra­tions are under­way 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.

Reminder: World Ama­teur Radio Day, April 18, is just a few weeks away! Help us cel­e­brate ama­teur radio’s con­tri­bu­tions to soci­ety, the 95th anniver­sary of the found­ing of the IARU, and that ama­teur radio is the best way to prac­tice social distancing!

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