The FIA will no longer require F1 COVID vaccinations in 2023.

The FIA has announced that the COVID-19 protocols for Formula One will be relaxed for the 2023 season, including the requirement that those in the paddock be vaccinated.

Formula One cars in a file photo (Image credits: Twitter)
By Mahaksh Chauhan | Dec 8, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 and the postponement of the season, the FIA implemented a stringent set of protocols to reduce the risk of virus spread and keep the paddock safe. Restriction were eased through 2021, including the reintroduction of media and outside persons to the paddock, before further steps in 2022 saw the termination of required testing and masks. Following the latest meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council on Wednesday in Bologna, it was confirmed that additional efforts will be done to ease the regulations for next year.

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COVID protocols

This will include the elimination of the requirement for those working in “high density areas,” such as the paddock, pit lane, and race control, to be vaccinated against COVID or have a medical exemption. Those working in the paddock were required to produce proof of vaccination – two doses of a World Health Organization-recognized vaccine – or medical exemption when receiving their passes at the start of the season in 2022. However, it comes on the heels of a number of countries relaxing their COVID requirements through 2022, with several no longer requiring proof of vaccination in order to enter the country.

The World Motor Sport Council also confirmed that the FIA will no longer organise on-site testing facilities, which have been in place since the first race with COVID protocols in place in July 2020. The FIA withdrew the necessity for individuals in the paddock to be testing in 2022 and instead aggressively encouraged it, keeping the facilities open throughout the track. For individuals who need to be tested during a race weekend, the FIA will “inform stakeholders about test facilities available nearby to venues.” Those with COVID symptoms or a positive test result would still be barred from entering high-density areas, according to the FIA, implying that there is no change that would allow drivers who tested positive to continue driving.