Preparation for the 63rd annual symposium continues, however, in connection with the development of the situation with the COVID-19 virus, we must make some adjustments to the previously setup work process of the local organizing committee.
At present, the situation in Russia, and in the Asian part of it, remains relatively favorable for the symposium in the end of July, and we do not give up hope to hold a symposium in Vladivostok if the epidemiological situation in the world normalizes. But as there is still no complete confidence in the full normalization of the situation, we are taking the following steps to reduce the financial burden on both the symposium participants and the organizing committee if the symposium must be cancelled due to COVID-19:
1. We will continue to register participants, with the abstract submission deadline remaining March 30, 2020. However, we will postpone sending invoices for payment of registration fees until April 30, 2020. Invoices will be forwarded to participants after the analysis of situation with COVID-19 in the world on date April 30, 2020.
2. We will not extend the deadline for travel awards applications and invite participants to apply for travel grant when they submit their abstracts.
3. We will extend the acceptance of registration fees at a reduced rate until June 20, 2020.
4. We ask that participants who register without paying a fee send us the documents we need to issue invitations, especially for participants who require an official invitation from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
5. We advise to those booking travel and accommodation to investigate: 1) Travel cancellation insurance (for both flights and accommodation); 2) Check airline cancellation policies (with many travel insurance companies no longer offering refunds for flight cancellations, the airlines are being more flexible with cancellation policies); 3) If accommodation requires deposit, check cancellation policies.
6. We recommend to consider the Far Eastern Federal University campus accommodation option in current situation as it does not require any prepayments or deposit and can be guaranteed by Local organizing committee.
At present, we are looking forward to seeing all of you Vladivostok and are continuing preparations for the symposium. If the symposium has to be cancelled, of for any participants who were forced to cancel their participation due to: 1) the cancellation of symposium by the Russian Government, local organizing committee or IAVS, 2) Russia bars the entry of those from the participant’s country, 3) institutions of participants do not allow them to travel abroad because of COVID-19, all funds transferred to the organizing committee will be refunded, minus bank transfer costs.
Local Organizing Committee