Covid 19 FAQs

As the world continues to manage the Covid 19 pandemic we are fortunate that WA has been able to return to relative normality and the 2021 South32 Rottnest Channel Swim is scheduled to proceed. We have answered some of the most common questions we get below however if you have any others feel free to get in touch.

Under what circumstances will the Event go ahead?

The decision to proceed with the Event will be based on advice from the WA Government. At this stage (September 2020) the Department of Health has advised that the Event should be able to proceed under Phase 3 or lesser restrictions.

Will there be refunds if the Event is cancelled due to Government restrictions?

The number one priority for the Rottnest Channel Swim Association (RCSA) is to run a safe and enjoyable Event for all swimmers. Where advised that it is unsafe to hold the Event due to Covid the RCSA will shift its priority to ensuring the greatest possible refund for swimmers.

The RCSA will, where practical and reasonable to do so, use reasonable endeavours to limit or avoid incurring expenses in relation to the Event in an effort to refund a part of the entry fee to applicants (where possible). If the Event is cancelled during or just prior to the event there will be no refunds.

Should the 2021 Event be cancelled entrants will be offered guaranteed entry into the 2022 Event.

Will interstate participants be able to swim?

Due to the current uncertainty around WA’s border restrictions the RCSA Committee will undertake two registration periods for the 2021 Event.

Should WA’s interstate border be opened, or a set date announced for opening prior to the first release there will be no second release and interstate entries will occur concurrently with WA entries.


First release – 26 October to 4 November 2020 – WA Residents Only

The first release will be for WA residents only and take place during the regular registration period from 26 October – 4 November.


Second Release – 15 December 2020

Should WA’s interstate border be opened, or a set date announced for opening that is prior to the swim, a second release of 75 entries will occur on Tuesday 15 December 2020 for interstate soloists only (for only those States that have had their borders declared open / to be opened).

Any remaining spots (75 minus interstate soloists) will be made available to both interstate and WA teams/duos from 8:30am on Wednesday 16 December 2020.

In the scenario that WA’s borders remain closed, or no date announced for opening prior to the swim, this second release will open to WA residents for team and duo entries at 8:30am on Wednesday 16 December 2020.

Will international participants be able to swim in 2021?

Due to the current Australian Government border restrictions until at least 17 December 2020 we will not be taking international entries into the 2021 Event. Should international borders re-open prior to either the first or second release of entries the RCSA Committee with review this stance accordingly.

Will participants get a refund they can’t enter WA?

Swimmers are asked to consider current travel advice and border closures at the time of entry.  Participants will not receive a refund or deferral if they are unable to attend the Event due to any government restrictions or border closures.

What if some team members are from WA and others from interstate?

Teams or duos entering during the WA entry period will need to have a full team of WA swimmers. Should the borders reopen you will be able to substitute interstate swimmers as per the Event T&Cs.

How will the RCSA decide to cancel the Event in case of increased Covid restrictions?

The RCSA is committed to staging the 2021 South32 Rottnest Channel Swim. Any decision to modify or cancel the Event will be based on WA Government advice.

Normal participant safety cancellation decisions based on weather, sharks etc. remain in place.

What is the RCSA doing to make the Event Covid safe?

The RCSA continues to work with the Department of Health, Rottnest Island Authority, Island businesses and all our event partners to undertake a Covid safe Event. Due to the changing nature of restrictions, any specific changes or alterations will be communicated as far in advance as possible.  Final Event information will be communicated in early 2021 including Covid safe plans.

Will the RCSA restrict the number of entrants able to participate?

No, the number of total entrants into the 2021 Event will remain the same as previous years.

Does the 2m2 rule apply to boats?

No, under the current WA Government Phase 4 health advice, the 2m2 rule is not applicable to boats.

What is happening at the pub/ferry services?

All island business including the pub and ferries work hard to deliver a safe experience for Island visitors. All these operators will work within the guidelines set by the WA Government to ensure your safety.

If I get Covid or I am unable to attend due to government restrictions can I transfer my entry to another person?

Soloists will be unable to transfer their entries as per the Event Terms and Conditions.  Duos and Teams will be allowed to transfer their entries subject to the Event Terms and Conditions.

What will happen if I can’t qualify or my qualifying event is cancelled?

If you are a soloist unable to qualify because your qualifying Event has been cancelled you will need to enter the next available qualifying event. Should there be no other qualifying event prior to 1 February 2021 you should contact to discuss your options.

Can I get a refund if my training facility is closed?

No, you will not be entitled to a refund or deferral. However, if you have been unable to undertake adequate training due to government restrictions you should email to discuss your options.

Do I get a refund if I test positive and need to self-isolate

No, you will not be entitled to a refund or deferral. However, if you are part of a team or duo, you may be able to transfer your entry subject to the Event Terms and Conditions.

If I came in contact with a positive Covid case do I get a refund?

No, you will not be entitled to a refund or deferral.  However, if you are part of a team or duo, you may be able to transfer your entry subject to the Event Terms and Conditions.