GeoLog

How to EGU22: COVID-19 regulations for attending the meeting on-site

How to EGU22: COVID-19 regulations for attending the meeting on-site

Now that the registration for on-site participation of EGU22 has closed, those of you who are joining us in Vienna will be getting ready to travel! As a part of your registration to attend in-person, you will have provided your agreement to follow the requirements to enter EGU22 at the Austria Center Vienna that were described on the EGU22 website, as we were instructed by the Austrian Authorities when planning the meeting. These requirements cover everything from the ‘2G’ rules you need to follow to enter the conference centre, to what the rules are for wearing masks inside, during the meeting. But what does ‘2G’ mean? And which masks are we asking you to wear?!

Don’t worry, in this blog we are going to go through the most important rules in more detail, to help you feel prepared, safe and confident, before you come to see us and your colleagues again in Vienna. To help all our participants have some certainty about what to expect, these rules will remain in place until the end of the General Assembly on the evening of 27 May 2022. The only exception to this will be if the Austrian Authorities tighten restrictions above these rules because of increased infection numbers, which we really hope won’t happen.

 

Vaccination and COVID-19 recovery requirements to enter the Austria Center Vienna

(Credit: pixabay)

In order to enter EGU22 at the Austria Center Vienna, between Sunday 22 May (for badge pick-up) and Friday 27 May 2022, you must be a pre-registered attendee who meets the ‘2G’ rule for vaccination or recovery from COVID-19. 2G is a shorthand in German-speaking countries for geimpft (meaning vaccinated) and genesen (meaning recovered). This differs from the 3G rule, which also includes getestet (meaning tested).

If you are attending the meeting under the ‘vaccinated’ requirement, there are several things you will need to prove your status, and therefore enter the conference centre:

  • You must be fully vaccinated (two or three doses) with an EMA-approved vaccine. EMA-approved vaccines are: BioNtech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca (but not Covishield), Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (only valid together with a booster), Moderna, and Nuvaxovid/Novavax. If you have been vaccinated with another vaccine not on this list, you will not be permitted entry to the Austria Center Vienna during EGU22.
  • Vaccines with two doses are valid for 180 days (6 months) from the date of the second vaccination. The booster vaccination (third dose) is valid for 365 days (12 months).
  • Digital proof of your vaccinations in the form of an EU-model QR code is the preferred way to demonstrate your status, as it is very quick and the security at the Austria Center Vienna are very familiar with this format. If you don’t have access to a QR code certificate or app, a vaccination card or vaccination passport can be used. Any proof of vaccination must be available in English or German.
  • You will need to show proof of ID, such as a passport or national identity card, with your proof of vaccination.

The World Health Organisation vaccine passport is a good option to prove your vaccination status (Credit: pixabay)

 

If you are attending the meeting under the ‘recovered’ requirement, you will also need to prove your status to enter the conference centre:

  • If you have recently recovered from COVID-19 then you can also enter the Austria Center Vienna for EGU22.
  • Proof of recovery must provided in the form of an official medical certificate proving past infection and recovery in the last 180 days (6 months). If you are able to provide this official certificate in the form of a QR code, either on paper or an app, this is also preferred. Any proof of recovery must be available in English or German.
  • You will need to show proof of ID, such as a passport or national identity card, with your proof of recovery.

Once you have demonstrated your vaccination or recovery status at the door of the Austria Center Vienna on your first entry to the meeting, together with a form of ID, such as a passport or national identification card, you will be given a wristband by the security officer who checks your credentials. You will need to keep this wristband for the entire conference, as if you lose it you will need to prove your vaccination/recovery status again before being allowed to enter the meeting. Once you have your wristband you can go and collect your name badge – but please note a name badge alone will NOT be sufficient to get you into the conference centre, like in a normal year.

You MUST wear your wristband AND your name badge to gain entry to the meeting.

 

Wearing a mask INSIDE the Austria Center Vienna

An FFP2 mask (Credit: wikimedia commons)

Whilst inside the Austria Center Vienna, during EGU22 we ask all our in-person attendees to wear an FFP2 (or higher rating) mask at all times. Two exceptions exist to this rule. The first is, obviously, whilst eating and drinking – though this will not be permitted inside the lecture rooms. The second is whilst you are giving your presentation at the podium in the lecture room. The reason you can remove your mask to present, if you choose, is that it makes your talk more accessible for people who rely on visual cues when a person is speaking, and also makes your talk easier to follow for our participants joining remotely. However, we do ask that whilst you are giving your presentation, if you choose to remove your mask, that you maintain at least 1.5m social distance from all other attendees, and remain at the podium. Then replace your mask when you move away from the podium for the next speaker. Audience members asking questions should keep their masks on, as you will be provided with a microphone to ask your question, and therefore do not need to remove it.

 

Additional procedures inside the Austria Center Vienna during EGU22

In addition to wearing masks and ensuring that all on-site attendees have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19, our hygiene plan details several other steps that we are taking to protect our on-site attendees. These include:

  • All lecture rooms will use a one-way entrance and exit. The doors are signposted and all attendees are obliged to strictly follow these rules. In the case of the few rooms that only have a single entrance, attendees must let the former session’s attendees leave the room before the subsequent session’s attendees can enter.
  • All lecture rooms will have a station where you can disinfect your hands upon entry. If you wish to disinfect your seat when entering a lecture room for the first time, the conference assistants will be able to provide disinfection sheets. In addition, all chairs and rooms are disinfected each night.
  • In special cases where items are used by several people, single-use gloves are provided for your own protection, if you choose to use them. This includes at the coffee stations and for the cutlery at buffets.

At all times we encourage our attendees to be mindful of social distancing, and follow the procedures we have all become so familiar with over the last two years with regards to person-to-person contact. Be aware that for many people this may be their first experience travelling or visiting a large indoor event since the start of the pandemic, and be respectful of other people’s boundaries and comfort level, as they may be very different to your own.

 

We want to deeply and sincerely thank all in-person attendees for following these guidelines, and helping to protect their fellow attendees. By working together to protect each other, we can make sure this meeting is safe and enjoyable for as many people as possible.

If you are reading this information and realise that you might not be able to meet the requirements laid out above and on the EGU22 COVID-19 regulations page, please contact egu22@copernicus.org before 13.00 CEST 29 April 2022 to switch your attendance to virtual participation, or withdraw and get a refund of your registration, in line with our stated cancellation policy.

We are very much looking forward to seeing you all in Vienna in a few weeks!

Hazel Gibson is Head of Communications at the European Geosciences Union. She is responsible for the management of the Union's social media presence and the EGU blogs, where she writes regularly for the EGU's official blog, GeoLog. She has a PhD in Geoscience Communication and Cognition from the University of Plymouth in the UK. Hazel tweets @iamhazelgibson.


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