The International Amateur Radio Union adapts to COVID-19




The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) reported on how it is tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, given the various restrictions in place to slow the spread of the virus. The IARU said the headquarters of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Geneva remains closed to visitors until April 17 at the earliest. The ITU canceled some meetings, postponed others and converted others to online meetings. 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. The IARU plans to have a stand in two parts, including one dedicated to young people. It is not known if the event will take place at this time.

IARU The Region 2 Emergency Communications and Satellite Communications workshops scheduled for May 30-31 in Trinidad and Tobago will now be held online. The IARU reports that interest and registrations have increased since the announcement. These workshops will be held in English, but preparations are underway for Spanish workshops to be held later.

IARU Region 3 has canceled its first Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) Camp that had been planned in Rayong, Thailand, in early October.

World Amateur Radio Day is April 18, this year celebrating the 95th anniversary of the founding of the IARU. The IARU has admitted that amateur radio “is the best way to practice social distancing”.

IARU Region 1 (Europe, Middle East and Africa) has asked member societies to “reconsider their position” on Field Day events over the coming months.

“Field Days bring radio amateurs together and therefore represent an environment where social distancing is difficult to achieve,” said IARU Region 1 Chair Don Beattie, G3BJ. “We must recognize that many radio amateurs are in the older and more at-risk age groups.” The IARU will not be sponsoring the Region 1 HF CW field day in June, but said national societies must make their own decisions about whether their field day events will continue.

Beattie said single-operator contests “remain a great way for those forced to stay home to experience the magic of amateur radio.”

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