Information on Covid-19
68 infections with the novel coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2) are registered in Munich and 10 schools are closed due to Covid-19.
The Bavarian cabinet bans events with more than 1,000 participants, and recommends to cancel events with more than 500 participants. These recent developments confirm the difficult decision to cancel UQ20, since we could avoid a forced cancelation or termination of the meeting by official orders at the last minute, with all the resulting uncertainties and risks for the attendees.
Understandably, we are receiving a lot of queries regarding the refund/cancelation policy and the possibility of remote talks.
- Refund/cancelation policy. As announced earlier we will review the cancelation policy in light of the unanticipated Covid-19 outbreak. The goal is to reimburse registration fees to the extent possible. This is a complex process which requires the coordination with many bodies at TUM, funding agencies and elsewhere, and will take some time to complete. We therefore kindly ask for your patience regarding this matter. We will give more information as soon as we are able to. Thank you for your understanding!
- Remote talks. Unfortunately, we don’t have the technical equipment and support to enable remote talks for a significant number of session talks at short notice. The time zone differences are also a problematic factor. Hence we will not be able to accommodate remote talks.
We understand that many people are concerned about the spread of the coronavirus worldwide and naturally have questions about the likelihood of the SIAM UQ20 meeting being cancelled.
The conference organisers are committed to keeping conference attendees and helpers informed of the situation, and we will endeavour to communicate our decisions and the information these are based on, in a transparent way. However, since the situation is very dynamic on a global level, with new information coming in almost every day, this is not an easy task. We will handle this unanticipated situation as best as we can with the health and safety of all UQ20 participants and helpers being the highest priority.
At the time of writing, based on all the information we have, and recommendations of advisory bodies, the conference is going ahead as planned.
The rationale for this is as follows.
- The conference organizers are in close contact with the local health authorities in Munich and the health and safety office at TUM. We are following the recommendations of the Bavarian Ministry of Health and the Federal Government of Germany. We will also use the information provided by the Robert-Koch Institute (RKI), the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- So far, the authorities in Bavaria have not ordered any events to be cancelled. However, large scheduled events do have to be reported to the Bavarian Ministry of Health in advance, as well as the expected number of participants from areas of high risk as identified by the RKI. The local organizers forwarded a report to this effect to the Bavarian authorities on 02 March 2020.
- Based on currently available information, the WHO advises against the application of any restrictions of international traffic (source: WHO).
The local health authorities in Munich have advised that all participants should practise good hand and respiratory hygiene, similar to the recommended hygiene rules for influenza. While at the conference, we therefore recommend that you wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. It is also advised not to shake hands if you want to greet people. Information sheets explaining the recommended hygiene rules will be provided with registration materials.
Other sources of information:
- Information pages of the WHO Including how to protect yourself, FAQs, and travel advice
- Daily risk assessment of the ECDC and situation update for the EU
- Current risk assessment of the RKI for Germany (information in German)
- Risk areas defined by the RKI (information in German)
The conference organizers follow the developments regarding the coronavirus closely. At present, the meeting is scheduled to go ahead as planned. We are consulting with SIAM and local health authorities. The health and safety of the conference participants and helpers is the highest priority. We will provide updates on the situation for all participants as soon as new information becomes available. The cancelation and refund policy will be reviewed in light of these developments. Please check this webpage periodically for updates.