Dear registrants of COV11 and volcanological community,
We are living difficult times as the covid-19 pandemic has changed the political and social structure of the world, including the timing of the COV11 conference in Heraklion (Crete), Greece. In response, the COV11 local organizing committee (LOC), the IAVCEI Executive Committee, and Cities and Volcanoes (CAV) Commissioners, have exerted much effort to adjusting to this situation, and determining the will of COV11 registrants.
More than 700 people participated in our June survey of their intentions regarding COV11, which included the majority of those who have already registered for the conference. From those who had already registered, half planned to participate virtually, with the remaining half fairly evenly split between attending in person, preferring cancellation, or undecided. From these results, and with the encouraging easing of the pandemic and opening of European borders, we created a hybrid conference (physical and virtual) to be held during September 25-30, 2020.
Unfortunately, the spread of the pandemic has increased and accelerated worldwide, forcing further lockdowns, and restrictions to international travel. Taking into account, and the low number of confirmed physical participants, IAVCEI, the CAV commission, and the LOC have decided to postpone the COV11 meeting in Heraklion to 14-18 June 2021. This change is made for the safety of delegates and to make it more likely to have participation from our many professional communities.
As we promised you, time has come to take and announce our final decision as regards the COV11 Conference.
Over the past months the COV11 Local Organizing Committee, along with the IAVCEI Executive committee, the Cities and Volcanoes Commission and CONVIN (the Professional Congress Organizer), have continuously evaluated the evolution of the global Covid-19 situation and all possible options for the conference.
Based on our ultimate evaluation on June 29, we cautiously feel more optimistic and have decided to hold the COV11 conference in Crete on September 25-30, 2020, as an hybrid event combining both virtual and physical attendance.
Within the next few days you will receive a letter from the Professional Conference Organizers with all information concerning the next steps. At this stage, there is no further action required from your side.
Keeping with the tradition of IAVCEI events, we encourage the physical participation of all those of you who will be able to reach Crete in September. In addition to the exceptional framework of Crete island, they could enjoy the warm atmosphere of in-person meeting and physically participate to scientific sessions and parallel activities. The POC will take care of all technical aspects and of safety rules imposed by national regulations. In particular, safe distancing rules and a 50% reduced host capacity of the conference rooms will impose us to limit the number of physical attendance to 300 people. On-site participations will be validated on a first-come first-served basis.