Leading Professional Society for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Connecting, Training, Empowering, Worldwide

Health and Safety Protocols

ISMB/ECCB 2023 Health and Safety Protocols

We encourage you to monitor this page to stay abreast of the latest updates on health and safety protocols for ISMB/ECCB 2023. ISCB reserves the right to alter these protocols as appropriate at any time.

The safety of conference participants is ISCB’s top priority, participants should be aware that, while ISCB will make every effort to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on-site, it is possible that attendees will come in contact with people in airports, hotels, and around the conference facility who could potentially carry the virus, which is why ISCB is requiring attendees to be fully vaccinated with the minimal protection against COVID-19 for their own safety, as well as the safety of others.

Entry into France (FR) may require measures beyond those that are stated by ISCB to gain access to the country.  As ISCB is required to abide by FR entry requirements, please be sure to consult the French Diplomacy Website.

Participants of the ISMB/ECCB 2023 understand that it is their responsibility to review and ensure compliance with any stated country guidelines both for coming into FR and departing FR to return to their country of origin.  Costs associated with travel are the responsibility of the participant.

For the purposes of right of entry to ISMB/ECCB 2023, a person must have the minimal protection against COVID-19.  This is defined as:

  • Two weeks post a full course of immunization with any vaccine that has been authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO). The product may be either fully authorized or authorized under an emergency use authorization or equivalent at the time of travel (see list of eligible vaccines - {https://covid19.trackvaccines.org/agency/who/} ).
  • Negative test to COVID-19 following recent (four - six month) diagnosis

Vaccination with a vaccine that is not included on the WHO website as authorized will not be accepted.

For those unable to travel or meet the vaccination requirement, ISCB offers several virtual meeting registration options. ISCB believes the most effective way to ensure the safety of oneself is for them to be vaccinated and boosted if eligible and able against COVID-19.

How will vaccinations be verified?

Participants electing to attend in-person will be asked to self-attest during the registration process confirming they meet the entry requirements.

Will ISCB require proof of a negative COVID test upon arrival?

While ISCB will not require proof of a negative COVID test prior to arrival onsite, ISCB, however, strongly encourages all in-person participants to test for infection prior to departing for the conference.  As testing times vary world-wide, our suggested test period is no more than 48 hours from the departure of your home. 

On-Site Safety Measures

Public health guidance on preventing the transmission of COVID-19 continues to evolve, and ISCB will base its on-site protocols on the latest guidance.

We would encourage attendees to bring their own test kits and test prior to attending the meeting and at regular frequency during the meeting to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. We can assist attendees who have no access to tests.  ISCB will provide the locations of local retail stores where tests can be purchased and will have a limited number of tests at the convention center for purchase by the attendee.

Sanitization

Even though the science now shows that COVID-19 transmission is less likely to occur from touching surfaces touched by multiple persons (i.e., lecterns), staff will clean these regularly to promote healthy sanitation overall. The convention center will also have sanitization stations throughout the venue.

Protective Masks

The wearing of protective masks is not required, they are strongly encouraged.  ISCB reserves the right to alter this protocol as appropriate at any time.  Participants are welcome to bring their own mask of choice and wear it if they wish. ISCB will have a limited supply of masks available onsite for those who wish to wear a mask.

Symptom Development While Onsite

On-site participants must agree that if they become symptomatic, they will immediately get tested for COVID-19 and cease in-person participation in the meeting and all related events. Individuals who test positive will not be permitted to continue attending the meeting in-person until a negative test is produced.

COVID-19 Testing

ISCB will not have  a testing facility onsite at the conference location.  ISCB will have self-administered rapid antigen tests (supply limited) available at the registration desk for those who may wish to test during the conference.  If you are onsite and experiencing symptoms, please contact ISCB (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.); we will bring a test to your hotel.

ISCB strongly encourages participants to bring their own testing kits if they wish to test throughout the conference.

What happens if I test positive onsite?

Participants who test positive for COVID-19 onsite, must follow the French Positive COVID-19 rules.  They will not be allowed to attend sessions in-person until a negative test can be produced, although they will still have access to the virtual platform.

Information on individuals who test positive, including the name of the individual testing positive and the session in which the individual participated, will be provided to staff overseeing the COVID-19 testing and response efforts. This will enable staff to follow up with these individuals to provide information on policies for isolating while on site, facilitate safe and comfortable quarantine arrangements, and provide information on local health care options as needed. While aggregate information about the number of positive cases will be made available to other attendees, the identity of individuals who test positive will be kept confidential.

Unfortunately, a formal contact tracing system is not available. ISCB will, however, make aggregate data available to attendees via the conference app about the number of positive cases reported at the meeting so they can make informed decisions about their participation. The identity of individuals who test positive will be kept strictly confidential.

COVAC GLOBAL

While ISCB is taking numerous precautions to alleviate the risk to meeting attendees, the possibility of testing positive during the meeting, and therefore needing to quarantine in place per the French guidelines may factor into the decision to attend the conference. To help address these concerns, ISCB recommends COVAC GLOBAL, a leading provider of medical evacuation services, to offer in-person attendees the option to purchase its COVID-19 Evacuation and Repatriation service. For those who purchase this service in advance, COVAC GLOBAL will arrange for medical transport – via private jet – back to your home to complete your quarantine at no additional expense, should you be diagnosed with COVID-19 while at the conference.

Conference Refund Policy

ISCB understands the continued volatility of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. In the event a registered participant cannot travel due to a positive test result prior to departing for the conference, ISCB will partially refund the participants registration fee to still allow the participant access to the virtual platform.  Participants who are still unable to participate in the conference virtually, may request a full refund. Full refund requests must be made prior to the start of the conference (July 23) and be accompanied by positive COVID-19 testing documentation. ISCB will not accept refund requests after 6:00 PM CEST, July 23, 2023.

ISCB COVID-19 Waiver

Upon registration to the conference, ISCB will require all in-person participants to sign the following waiver:

I understand that travel and gathering involves risk of sickness, including sickness from COVID-19. I (and on behalf of my guest(s)) waive and release ISCB and its sponsors and exhibitors, and their employees and agents, from and against claims, liabilities and expenses arising from injury, sickness or death from contraction or spread of COVID-19 or other communicable disease due to travel to or attendance at an event sponsored by ISCB.

I will take necessary precautions while at the event including, but not limited to, engaging in appropriate social distancing, wearing a mask when requested and/or required, minimize face touching, frequently washing hands and avoiding risky environments such as overcrowded bars or restaurants. I agree to not attend any ISMB/ECCB event if I feel ill or had recent exposure to a COVID-19 case. This waiver and release is binding on me.