C&C’22 will be an in-person conference, and delegates are expected to travel to Venice to meet and attend the diverse range of events, from the tool demonstrations to the art exhibition.
Alas, COVID-19 remains a factor in our lives. As a consequence, some of you might have concerns about traveling to and attending in-person conferences again. The C&C’22 Organising Committee recognises these concerns, and have taken steps to alleviate them and provide a conference experience that is as safe and enjoyable as possible.
First of all, some context. The behaviour of Italians might surprise delegates comes from countries such as the United States or United Kingdom. Italy’s governments and states have implemented strict rules to limit the spread of the COVID virus. These rules have been effective, and Italy has been largely unaffected by new outbreaks taking place in other countries. Over 85% of Italy’s population have received at least one vaccine dose, and over 80% of the population are fully vaccinated. The city of Venice is now operating as normal, for its residents and visitors. We believe that Italy remains one of the safest countries in which to hold an in-person conference. Venice will be a safe place to be.
So, what about the protocols that we are putting in place for C&C’22?
First of all, the conference itself will take place on a private island that can only be reached by boat, and is not open to the general public. This will restrict your exposure to non-delegates. Of course, as visitors to the island, we should be responsible to protect the space and the people who work there daily.
Second, when you use the public transport boats to travel to and from the private island, you will be required to wear FFP2 masks by the public transport authority. The wearing of these masks will be required on all local and long-distance public transport in Italy (i.e., trains, airplanes, subways, trams, buses and boats). Therefore, if you travel by boat to other conference locations in the city, you will also be required to wear FFP2 masks.
Third, our conference hosts, the Venice International University, will implement all COVID containment rules required by both the Italian State and the local Veneto Region. These rules require that you must wear FFP2 masks at all public events that take place indoors in most venues. Therefore, you will be required to wear the FFP2 masks whilst indoors at the conference venue. Furthermore, to enter the conference site, each C&C’22 delegate should have a valid COVID-19 certificate (Green Pass) or equivalent that shows that each delegate is fully vaccinated against the virus. Access to the conference site will not be permitted if:
- You have a fever higher than 37.5C, a cough or laboured breathing;
- You have been instructed by health authorities to quarantine or advised to self-isolate;
- You know that you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 14 days.
During each conference event, the speaker may remove their mask while speaking on condition that they can maintain a minimum of 2 meters from any other person. If the distance is under 2 metres, a mask must be worn. Windows in each conference room must be opened at the end of each session. Furthermore, after 2 hours of activity in any room or hall, a break is mandatory, during which the room must be ventilated by opening the windows. We have built these breaks into the conference program, and the breaks will be enforced.
The conference’s art exhibition will take place in a different location. During the launch of the art exhibition, on the early evening of Wednesday 22nd, all of the COVID-19 rules that apply to main conference venue will also apply to the indoor spaces of the art exhibition, to ensure the safety of delegates attending the art exhibition. Please note that, at other times when the art exhibition is open, only the local COVID-19 regulations will apply to the art exhibition space.
Fourth, the conference will exploit the island’s outdoors spaces and expected good weather. In June, the Venetian weather is normally sunny, and day temperatures are typically 26 or 27C. The main conference venue has extensive outdoors spaces and gardens that we will use for coffee breaks, lunches and two early evening receptions. The art exhibition also provides a number of outdoor spaces. Delegates will be free to use these outdoor spaces to meet and talk in the open air during the conference and art exhibition.
During the lunch and coffee breaks, we will encourage effective social distancing. Delegates will be encouraged to take their coffees outside, to consume them in the open air. During the provided lunches, the lunch tables will be set to ensure sufficient spacing between delegates. Furthermore, if the weather is good, the lunch tables will be open to the outdoors, to maximise ventilation. Delegates should wash their hands with soap or a disinfectant gel before approaching each refreshment area, and when you are in the refreshment area to collect food and beverages, always wear a mask. More generally, all delegates are asked to wash their hands regularly using soap and water or a gel hand sanitizer, avoid touching their faces, maintaining appropriate social distancing of one metre, avoid hugging and handshaking, and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or elbow. Dispose of the tissue immediately.
Beyond the two short outdoor receptions that will take place to welcome delegates and their partners to the conference and launch the art exhibition, C&C’22 is not planning any social events or parties. This is to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission beyond the boundaries of conference venues.
In addition, we will encourage all delegates to take Antigen COVID-19 tests regularly during the conference. These tests will be made available for free to all delegates, via the delegate registration pack and at the conference registration desk. The venue asks that all delegated should self-monitor on a daily basis for symptoms including a cold, sore throat, fever, laboured breathing, or other flu-like symptoms or malaise, or less of smell or taste. Consider bringing a thermometer with you.
We also ask all delegates and volunteers at C&C’22 to agree to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and to contact the ACM at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days after participating or volunteering at C&C’22.
Finally, please note that the Italian government is expected to announce new containment rules on or just before the 15th June, which will apply during the conference. We anticipate that these rules will be the same or similar to the rules that are currently in force. We will share these as soon as they are available.