Dear friends and colleagues,
Since the beginning, the ESB2021 organizers have been carefully monitoring the current pandemic situation.
As you know, late in May, with the favourable conditions we had in Portugal, we have decided to host the ESB2021 as a hybrid conference in Porto (i.e., both online and on-site). The response of the community has been massive, and the large majority of the participants has registered for the face-to-face attendance.
However, in the last two weeks, despite the great progress of the vaccination program, the number of coronavirus infections in Portugal has risen significantly due to the Delta variant of the virus. The nationwide 7-day incidence of 110.2 (as of July 1, 2021; source: Johns Hopkins University) is well above the critical limit of 50 newly infected persons per 100,000 inhabitants, per week. Due to this situation, a number of restrictions have been imposed, mainly in Lisbon and Porto regions. This has drastically increased the uncertainty of the occupation rules of our venue and of future travelling restrictions. Taking into consideration the health and safety of all presenters, exhibitors and attendees, and the importance of assuring the quality of the Conference Program, the Organising Committee has taken the difficult decision to move ESB2021 to a fully virtual format, from September 5-9, 2021.
To implement this, the following actions will be taken:
- A fully virtual conference environment will be set up to allow invited speakers and authors of accepted abstracts (oral and poster presentations) to present and discuss their work virtually;
- All abstracts will be published in a digital abstract booklet;
- A virtual market environment will be set up for the exhibitors.
All registered attendees will be contacted and receive more information concerning their registration (and refund, when applicable) via email in the next few days. We will also prepare guidelines for presenting authors with upload information for video presentations, poster PDFs and poster video presentations.
Now, all our efforts will be put into making ESB2021 a VIRTUOUS VIRTUAL successful event!!
With kind regards and sincere thanks for your understanding and continuous support!
Ana Paula Pêgo (Chair)
M. Cristina L. Martins (Co-Chair)
Pedro L. Granja (Co-Chair)