The European Society
of Human Genetics

News details

ESHG 2020: Statement on the current situation in relation to COVID-19

Updated statement on Covid-19

13 March 2020

We have noted the serious turn of events over the last few weeks. This clearly has consequences for the planning of the conference to be held in Berlin in June. The Scientific Committee is using online technologies for its abstract selection meeting and continue to work on the programme of the conference. The same applies to the Executive Board. 

We will be following the development of this pandemic closely. We hope that travel and other restrictions will be lifted in time for us to continue with the conference. Indeed, this is our goal. The next six weeks will probably tell us whether this is achievable.

In the meantime we decided to extend the deadline for registration at reduced fees until May 8

We will update the participants, exhibitors and sponsors as soon as news become available.




Statement on Covid-19

3 March 2020

Whereas the ESHG acknowledges the current difficulties caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, it thinks it is likely that the problems associated with it will have been resolved before the Berlin conference scheduled June 6-9, 2020. So far, the epidemiological and virulence data do not appear to be alarming, and the forthcoming months will tell if this turns out to be correct.

In the meantime, the ESHG will continue with the organisation of the conference, as well as monitor the situation, WHO statements, travel advice and official recommendations from local authorities on the coronavirus outbreak and assessing the potential impact on the conference and its participants.

As a responsible science-based organisation, we believe it is essential to do all we can to protect the health of participants. To this end, we will be putting in place special measures to help mitigating the spread of the virus.

Such measures may include:

  • Increased cleaning and disinfection programme across all high-volume touchpoints, e.g. catering areas, surfaces, handrails, WCs, entrances/exits, public touchscreens, etc. along with the use of correct cleaning/sanitising materials and products
  • Increased onsite medical support
  • Awareness campaign via online and onsite info-share and signage
  • Availability of sanitising and disinfection materials for public use
  • Awareness and training to all staff on standard personal preventative measures, e.g. personal hygiene, frequency of use of sanitising/disinfection products, etc.
  • Advice to exhibitors on implementing effective cleaning and disinfection of stands along with guidance on personal hygiene measures and common preventive behaviour
  • Installing signage onsite reminding attendees of hygiene recommendations
  • Implementing a microphone change protocol for speakers
  • Communicating advice to all attendees to adopt a ‘no-handshake policy’
  • Increase awareness to adhere to advice from the WHO and other health authorities and respecting travel restrictions where they will be in place at the time of the conference.

Should anything change, the participants will be informed as soon as possible.

We advise participants to pay attention to travel advice from their own country’s government and to check if they have adequate travel and health insurance in place.

Up-to-date WHO advice and facts can be found here: