COVID-19 Resources and Questions

*Last updated on May 20, 2020*

The novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, is affecting all continents and countries of the globe. The health of athletes, staff, stakeholders, and fans is of the utmost importance as the ISA continues to monitor the updates and regulations in place around the world. 

We look towards health experts around the world to act accordingly as the situation evolves. We encourage all stakeholders to consult and follow national, regional and local regulations and/or guidelines for surfing and any other outdoor activities. 

In an effort to gather and share best practices and resources, also between ISA Members, the ISA has created this page of relevant COVID-19 information and resources, as well as to provide updates as to how the pandemic has and will affect the ISA.

Scroll down to view frequently asked questions.


World Health Organization

  • Visit the World Health Organization’s dedicated page to the COVID-19 response for the latest on advice, guidance, and information: VIEW HERE.

IOC’s Athlete 365

  • This site provides advice for athletes on how to cope and stay healthy during the pandemic via their Athlete 365 portal: VIEW HERE


  • The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is providing regular updates for athletes and members of the anti-doping community. VIEW HERE.


  • The Surfrider Foundation has produced guidelines to return to surfing in the most safe and responsible manner. VIEW HERE.

ISA Member Nations

As national guidelines and laws greatly vary between countries, many of the ISA’s member nations have put together guidelines and best practices that fit their particular circumstances.

See examples from the following National Federations:


Frequently Asked Questions

When will the Tokyo 2020 Olympics be held?

  • The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed to July 23 – August 8, 2021. View updated schedule here

When will the 2020 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Surfing Games be held? 

  • The 2020 Surf City El Salvador ISA World Surfing Games are postponed indefinitely, until international travel and competitions are deemed safe. The ISA is in constant contact with the Organizing Committee in El Salvador and is monitoring the global situation as it evolves. The ISA is hopeful that a solution can be worked out for 2020, but understands that is entirely dependent on the development of the pandemic globally. 

How does the pandemic affect Surfing’s Olympic qualification? 

  • Following guidelines laid out by the IOC, all athletes that have qualified for Surfing’s debut in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will retain their preliminary qualification status. View the latest qualification update here. The ISA is working with the IOC to prepare contingency plans for qualification in the case that the ISA World Surfing Games cannot be held in 2020 and/or 2021.

Aside from the ISA World Surfing Games, could any other ISA World Championships potentially be held in 2020?

  • For the time being, other than the ISA World Surfing Games, no other ISA World Championships are planned to be held in 2020. This is subject to change, of course, depending on the development of the pandemic.

Am I allowed to surf? What’s the safest way to go surfing?

  • Please respect and refer to the national and/or municipal regulations of your country and/or region. Each situation requires a different solution. As far as how to practice safe surfing, please refer to the instructions from your national government and/or national federation and read the resources provided above on this page.

How can I get my ISA Coaching/Instructing and/or Judging Certification?

  • The ISA has adapted to the global circumstances and has developed an online course offering that includes various levels of participation, from sitting in on courses to gain knowledge to receiving certification. Learn more about Coaching and Instructing Courses here and more about Judging and Officiating Courses here.

How can I renew my ISA Coaching and Instructing Certification and complete my ISA/ILS Water Safety Course?

  • Considering the impact of COVID-19 we have waived all late fees for ISA Certification Renewals over the coming 6 months until September 1, 2020. This is effective as of April 2020 and you can complete your ISA Certification renewal via the ISA Renewals Page. In addition, we will extend the validity of all ISA Certifications issued from this date until September 1, 2021. Considering the various restrictions and inability to complete water safety courses, the ISA has also extended the timeframe for the completion of water safety/lifesaving course in order to fulfill the renewal requirement for 6 months. You can renew at this time and then have 6 months to complete the water safety refresher. If the situation persists and this is not possible we will consider additional extension on this based on the circumstances.

Will there be a 2020 ISA Scholarship Program?

  • Due to COVID-19, it is unlikely that the ISA will be able to open the ISA scholarship application in 2020. Please check back periodically. If there are any other updates, we will make an announcement.