Sunday 15th of March, 2020
In response to the global pandemic of COVID-19, we have taken the decision to postpone the Australasian Cytometry Society 43rd Annual Scientific Meeting in Queenstown, New Zealand until 2022.
The annual scientific meeting is the heart and soul of the society. It is the main event we all look forward to each year. It is an important opportunity for members to present their scientific work, undertake continuing professional development, and interact with trade and the community of scientists who share our professional interest. The conference is the product of hundreds of hours of work by volunteers on the local organising committee, as well as considerable time and investment from sponsors, speakers and the whole team. We are very proud of it and it has not been an easy decision to cancel our plans to hold a conference in 2020, and postpone the outstanding event we have planned for Queenstown until 2022.
After delaying opening of registrations, we surveyed members and consulted with stakeholders and experts over the past weeks, considering a range of options and alternatives. It is clear that a postponement is necessary for the best interest of the members, the ACS, and the safety of the community.
While the annual conference is the core business of the ACS, the event is not the core business of our members.Our decision is in line with advice to avoid unnecessary travel and large gatherings following the official designation as a global pandemic earlier this week.
Given the uncertainty of the duration for which increased caution and restriction of travel might be necessary, we felt it was most prudent to postpone until next year and will move forward with plans to hold the Scientific Meeting in Queenstown in 2022.
Please visit the FAQ on our website to find out more.
Friday, 6th of March, 2020
The ACS recognises concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and together with the Local Organising Committee, have established a task-force to monitor and advise on the risk this outbreak poses to plans for ACS2020.
As COVID-19 is continuing to cause widespread disruptions across many countries, we too here in New Zealand have been affected by these outbreaks, largely by way of travel funding cuts due to the financial strain or travel bans due to the lack of travel insurance. Actual cases affecting Australia and New Zealand are small, well controlled and largely isolated to those travelling from countries affected by an outbreak (or their immediate family and health care providers). There is no travel restriction between the countries for either Australia or New Zealand. However, uncertainty and an increased risk of travel disruption has resulted in some organisations restricting all international business travel for their workforce. In addition, we are mindful that our international guests may also face restrictions.
Out of caution, the ACS has postponed opening of abstracts and registrations till the 1st of April while restrictions are reviewed. We are also seeking feedback from our members to better understand how may delegates have travel restrictions in place that may impact their ability to commit to attend yet, and this inforamrion will have shape our decisons moving forward.
Although we are still committed to hosting the meeting as planned, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and are committed to provide timely updates to our members and delegates as required.
Anna Brooks ACS 2020 Conference Chair
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