BSP Annual Conference (September 2020): Coronavirus update statement

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Amid global concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19), the BSP is closely monitoring the situation with respect to all its planned events.

As global concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19) heighten, the British Society of Phenomenology (BSP) and the University of Exeter (with sponsors Egenis and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health) are closely monitoring the situation with respect to the planned UK annual conference in September 2020.

Currently, as of 18 March 2020, the BSP is in the last few weeks of its call for papers (CfP), with early bird registration due to open 30 April 2020.

The BSP is closely following advice on the role the public can play in supporting the UK government response regarding the global situation. On 16 March, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care gave an oral statement to Parliament on controlling the spread of COVID-19. This included:

> Stop ‘all unnecessary social contact with others and all unnecessary travel’
> People should ‘start working from home if they possibly can’
> People ‘should steer clear of pubs, clubs, cinemas and restaurants’ and ‘mass gatherings’
> This is to ensure ‘those with the most serious health conditions are largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks
> ‘This advice is directed at everyone, but it’s especially important for the over 70s, for pregnant women and for those with some health conditions’
> All this being ‘to ensure that this period of maximum shielding coincides with the peak of maximum transmission

Accordingly, as of 18 March 2020, the BSP plans to continue with its organisation of the conference, and will continue to review the situation at each milestone of its organisation plan, issuing updates.

Our advice to potential speakers and delegates is to continue submitting for the CfP, and register as per normal if and when registration opens.

We realise that there is a chance the conference may at some point need to be cancelled, or that people intending to attend the conference may be affected by their local situation. If that is the case, the BSP promises to (1) refund in full any registration/society fee paid to the BSP if the conference needs to be cancelled; or (2) refund in full any registration/society fee paid to the BSP if a speaker/delegate is affected by their local situation in any way and can no longer attend.

For more information or questions, please see our Coronavirus (COVID-19) communications page, or email [email protected].