Wings 2020 - BSO, Wings and Coronavirus
We would like to update you on WINGS2020 and the risks leading from COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Whilst the press and media are fueling anxiety about the virus, please be assured that WINGS and the Scout Association are closely monitoring government advice, and we are in close contact with them, we will adhere to advice or steps as required. The situation is changing daily, therefore any advice now will certainly either be out of date or radically changed as we get closer to July.
There are a few things we can say:
Is WINGS still planned to happen?
YES! At the time of writing, WINGS 2020 is still planned, and BSO still intends to participate with a contingent of over 250 scouts from around the world. We have no intention of withdrawing our participation from WINGS unless we are forced to. We are still making lists, holding planning meetings, and putting plans into place. Nothing has changed.
What happens if WINGS is cancelled? Do I get my money back?
We have to recognise this is a possibility. In this case, the main question is what happens to the money that has been paid? The WINGS terms and conditions state that:
“WINGS 2020 shall not be responsible for failure or delay of performance if caused by: an act of war, hostility, or sabotage; epidemic or pandemic. [...] If WINGS 2020 has to be cancelled due to circumstances beyond the control of the organisers, money will be refunded to the extent that money has not already been spent or committed to be spent. This is likely to mean that no fees can be refunded.”
As participants (or parents of participants) you have accepted these conditions, and they are the conditions under which BSO also operates. Of course, we are now doing our best to minimise up front expenditure, and to delay larger costs until the situation is clearer. Given the nervousness around Coronavirus, we are leaving the purchasing of larger items until later.
What happens if I can’t enter the UK or other travel restrictions stop me attending WINGS?
With participants coming from many countries, it is possible that the UK government will put in place travel restrictions that stop you attending WINGS, even if WINGS goes ahead.
We will be monitoring the situation going forward, but we recognise that in this case your child de facto not be able to attend WINGS 2020. There is little we can do about this, except to see if any money is left over at the end for reimbursement to people in this situation.
Given the above, should I be booking flights now?
From a BSO perspective WINGS starts when you enter the campsite – although we do help with transport from local airports. Many of you will anyway be in the UK, but many will make specific travel plans.
As each circumstance is different, we cannot say anything about what happens to booked flights or travel that are not used.
Buying tickets in the next two months is presumably cheaper than buying tickets nearer the time, but of course there is a risk that you cannot travel or WINGS is cancelled then you will no longer use the ticket.
Beyond generic advice to look for tickets with cancellations options, or consider insurance (which may be very hard to find) I am afraid the decision is with you.
What happens if I want to cancel and withdraw my child from WINGS 2020 right now?
You have the right to do this, although we cannot guarantee how much (if anything) we will be able to reimburse you.
Having said that the earlier we know the better we can manage the situation and maybe scale down purchases, that will save money.
We do not encourage you to cancel, but if you have decided to do so, then please let us know.
On a more positive note – July is five months away, and we predict that the situation will have radically changed by then. We look forward to speaking to you at our Webinar on the 14th March.