Health Measures for COVID-19

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AS OF MARCH 3, THE 2020 IFF IS CANCELLED. PLEASE READ OUR OFFICIAL STATEMENT.

(Published 27 February 2020) It is too early to tell what impact, if any, travel restrictions being imposed by multiple countries in response to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will have on the IFF in Valencia, Spain. The IFF team, along with our advisors and organizers of other international conferences, are closely monitoring this rapidly developing situation.

As we are not public health experts, our policy regarding the risk to health posed by COVID-19 is that we will follow public health guidelines for mass gatherings, in particular those of the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. At the current time, neither of those bodies recommend cancelling meetings of this nature but they do recommend some specific planning and we are following those recommendations.

We understand that the IFF community are very concerned about the health risks and that other events have been cancelled or switched to a remote-only model. We advise all participants making plans for travel to exercise caution and heed travel advisories published by their respective countries.

Accordingly, the following measures and guidelines are being put into place for the IFF. As the situation develops, we will be adjusting our policies.

Travel Guidelines for Travelers from or have visited Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, or South Korea

  • We are following the travel restrictions set forth by Schengen countries, as this will impact visa availability. Major airlines and many countries have already imposed travel restrictions, limiting the ability for IFF guests from these areas to even travel to Europe.
  • If you have not visited these regions but hold a passport of these countries, be prepared for extra questioning and slower process during departure and arrivals.
  • If you are a speaker and have been impacted by the travel restrictions, please contact us.

General Travel Guidelines

  • Travel advisories set forth by health bodies like the Centers for Disease Control include levels of safety guidance for travel planning.
  • You have rights as a traveler. As airlines enact country-specific travel restrictions by cancelling flights, you may be given the chance to rebook or be offered a full refund.
  • Participants whose flights are being supported through the Diversity & Inclusion Fund will have standard travel insurance applied to their airfare, in the case of cancellation or re-routing.

At the IFF: Measures to Prevent Transmission by Surface Contact

  • We will provide all participants with hand sanitizer and surface wipes.
  • Surface wipes will be available in all meeting rooms and shared spaces for cleaning any equipment or surfaces.
  • Do not feel obliged to shake hands or offer hugs with anyone and also do not feel offended if anyone declines to do so.

At the IFF: Measures for Anyone who Feels Unwell to Prevent Spreading Infection

  • We'll do our best to provide thermometers and face masks at the venue.
  • Those who feel ill are advised to stay in isolation at their accommodations.
  • We are making arrangements with local health care professionals to attend to anyone in self-imposed isolation to minimise their travel through communal areas.

Cancellation Policy

  • If you need to cancel your participation, please inform the team as soon as possible.
  • Anyone who is unable to attend due to government imposed travel restrictions will receive a full refund for the IFF ticket (if purchased).

Travel Clinic

You can book time to talk to a member of the IFF Team through our travel clinic. This is being made available to those who have questions about visa applications, risk assessments, border crossings, or general digital security questions.

You can also reach the team by contacting:
Wire @internetff
Signal +18179034966
Email team (at) internetfreedomfestival (dot) org

Resources

CDC's Information for mass gatherings: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/travel-to-mass-gatherings

CDC's Information for Travelers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus-china

WHO's Travel advice: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/travel-advice

WHO's Planning recommendation for mass gatherings: https://www.who.int/publications-detail/key-planning-recommendations-for-mass-gatherings-in-the-context-of-the-current-covid-19-outbreak

Author: Trinh Nguyen, Head of Safety & Technology