Due to the changing public health situation, our initial intention was not to provide detailed information on current anti-COVID measures until the week prior to the Conference. Now that the Conference is drawing near, and given recent developments, we wish to clarify that we will remain subject to compliance with three sets of regulations:
1. The National Regulations that establish requirements for entry into Spain, affecting all those attending the Conference who arrive from any other country. Travelers must show fulfillment of a complete vaccination schedule or a negative PCR test conducted in the last 72 hours (this must be verified days before the trip). In addition, those entering Spain must fill out an electronic questionnaire that issues a QR code to be presented at the airport.
2. The regulations of the Autonomous Community of Madrid, which establish capacity limitations and timetables for certain services with which we will comply whenever said services are required. These regulations could conceivably change over the next two weeks along with the epidemiological situation and would especially affect the social program of the conference (opening reception, gala dinner, etc.).
3. The regulations of the Complutense University of Madrid, which are stricter than other regulations in terms of capacities and social-distancing measures. Specifically, these establish the following mandates for all activities held at the University:
a) Obligation to wear a mask inside all buildings, including for speakers at presentations (university professors continue to conduct classes with a mask). Posted reminders of this obligation are found throughout the Conference venue buildings, and some of the Conference staff will be dedicated to strict compliance with this rule.
b) Recommendation to maintain safe distances at all times. Reminders of this recommendation are likewise posted throughout the venue.
c) The capacities of the meeting rooms have been reduced by 50% (and sometimes more). These limits are indicated in all rooms of the venue, and staff from the organization will be controlling capacity for compliance.
d) Although the meeting rooms are large, and the limited duration of sessions will not require cross-ventilation, we will be keeping windows and open doors for that purpose.
e) Each room will be stocked with hydroalcoholic gel, and emergency medical supplies (including masks) will be available as needed. However, masks will not be distributed by the Conference team to every attendee.
All of these basic preventative measures against the spread of coronavirus will be communicated to attendees during the week prior to the Conference, along with any updates to these regulations should they affect us.
As regards the possibility of requiring a COVID passport for entry into the Conference, we do not at present have the legal support to conduct such a program. This is currently the subject of much debate in Spain, and some regions have been pursuing this approach (or will do so in coming days) for entry into hospitals, restaurants, bars, museums, and certain events. To date, neither the Community of Madrid nor the Complutense University have made a COVID passport mandatory for the types of events we have planned, so requesting a passport could prove contrary to current regulations.
Nevertheless, should the governments of Spain or Madrid or authorities of the University adopt such a measure (apparently unlikely at the moment, but perhaps possible in coming weeks), we would of course be obligated to comply and request a COVID passport from Conference attendees. Should this occur, the Board and all those attending the Conference will be notified about the new obligation.
YOU SHOULD NOT TRAVEL if you have had symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as a high temperature, a cough or breathing difficulties, in the last 14 days.