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  • IOC Headquarters Empty Until June


    (ATR) The stay at home style of work will be the rule for the 500+ IOC staff who work in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    A statement from the IOC press office says that remote working will continue at least till June 8. The IOC says it is following the formal advice of Swiss authorities to work remotely and with minimum risk to health.

    The IOC closed its headquarters in March as Switzerland went into lockdown with the rest of the world.

    Since then the IOC has postponed the Tokyo 2020 Olympics until next year and is grappling with the myriad of issues that such a major change produces without the benefit of the state-of-the-art facility that opened last June.

    Still in the to-be-announced category is the status of the IOC Session which was to take place on the eve of the Tokyo Olympics in July. That meeting planned for Tokyo is to be rescheduled but seems likely to be conducted in a teleconference fashion. More than 80 IOC members took part in such a meeting last month with President Thomas Bach to discuss the implications of the coronavirus crisis.

    The Sport Accord convention which had been moved from Beijing to Lausanne as an initial response to the outbreak of the virus in China, was eventually canceled due to the Swiss ban on large meetings. The convention is next planned for May 2021 in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

    The International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship set for May in Zürich and Lausanne is another casualty of the Swiss pandemic countermeasures. An official associated with the Swiss task force on the pandemic says no large gatherings can be planned for Switzerland until mid-2021.

    Offices across Switzerland are expected to get the go-ahead to resume operations in June. This week some stores were allowed to open along with medical offices and dentists. Bars and restaurants within hotels are allowed to resume service but only for hotel guests.

    The Swiss government says about 29,000 cases of coronavirus have afflicted the country with about 22,000 having recovered. More than 1600 deaths have been reported.

    Reported by Ed Hula. For general comments or questions, click here.
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