COVID-19

The conference will be in hybrid format, with in-person part at Sant Feliu for a restricted number of participants. This could change if Spanish authorities forbid conferences or restrict entry to the country, which is unlikely.

First of all, we strongly recommend you to take full vaccination, or at least the first vaccination well before your travel. We do not recommend unvaccinated or delicate people to participate in the conference in person, but recommend those online participation.

If you have any symptoms, stay at home.

COVID situation in Spain

The Covid rates in Spain have decreased below European average and infection rates in Catalonia keep calming (See e.g. https://cnecovid.isciii.es/covid19/#ccaa). A new burst is always possible.

The dominant variant in Catalonia is delta. It is transmitted very easily even in open air and singly vaccinated persons transmit it regularly, as the symptoms can be mild. Surgical masks are not sufficient to protect, but FFP2 and FFP3 masks have been found effective.

The vaccination goes on rapidly in Spain. All the hotel staff is expected to be fully vaccinated by the conference. There may and will be, however, unvaccinated people in the streets.

Note that the hospitals may still be overcrowded and understaffed, so people with delicate health and potential need for hospitalization are not recommended to come in-person.

Travel, entrance and exit regulations

Please check before departing the actual rules and regulations for travel. You may have to take into account

  • travel rules of your organization – may be the most stringent constraint
  • rules of your home country – do not forget the re-entry
  • rules of EU
  • rules of Spain
  • rules of Catalonia
  • rules of the carrier
  • rules of your travel insurance company
  • rules of any stopover country

As all the rules are subject to change, we cannot give any firm advice. Most likely

  • Those with full immunity – two vaccines 14 (or 21) days prior to flight or entry, or verified recovery from COVID-19 – may travel without further ado, having a valid certificate issued by official health authorities. (An informal paper given by the local nurse may be insufficient)
  • Those with one vaccine may need to take an official PCR test before travel, after arrival, before return and/or after return, depending on the point of origin and entry route. Entry may be denied from some countries (out of EU, high risk).
  • The unvaccinated will be required to take multiple tests and possibly quarantine and may be denied the entry.
  • People from very low-risk countries may be exempt of checks.
  • People from very high-risk countries may be denied entry even if vaccinated.
  • Anyone showing any symptoms (fever, cough, sneeze, dizzines, red eyes, vomit) may be denied boarding or entry.
  • Minors may be exempts of regulations.

The certificates for Spain must be in Spanish, English, French or German, otherwise an official translation is required. To enter Spain you have to create an electronic health control formula (FCS) by filling in your personal and flight data online before your travel to Spain and bring with you the given QR code. You can create it any time, but you cannot complete before the last two days before your arrival. It is mandatory to indicate the flight number and the seat number in the plane, so you have to check in first.

You are required to show your FCS when entering the country to pass the obligatory health check (after customs, before recollecting luggage). It is reported to go very smoothly.

You are responsible for fulfilling all the requirements. You may be charged all the costs of tests, certificates and quarantines – they are not included in the conference fee, hotel bill or ordinary travel tickets. Check that your employer or insurance company covers these. (The obligatory health check at Barcelona airport is supposed to be free, including a rapid covid test in case of elevated temperature.)

We recommend to book a refundable ticket with no unnecessary stopovers.

If you arrive late, and there is the curfew (1-6 a.m.), you may be required to fill in this form. Currently there is no more curfew.

Preparing for the conference

Bring a big box (50 units) of disposable face masks with you. These should preferably be at least FFP2 level (particularly if you have not got your second vaccine yet or belong to any risk group), though usual surgical masks are accepted, too. Non-disposable face cloths are not sufficient.

You may have to wear the face masks throughout your travel, during all the sessions and even outdoors, and buying those in a foreign country is not always trivial.

Do not forget your COVID pass or immunity/test certificates. Take a copy of them. They may be more valuable than your passport.

Bring all the medicines and other daily products that you may use, as it may be non-trivial to get them in Spain if there will be curfew or shortage.

Be sure that you have a travel insurance to cover the medical costs and repatriation.

At the conference site

We ask your understanding for the inconveniences and warn that there may be ad hoc arrangements, e.g. dining in turns.

You are required to wear face mask in all public areas, including the conference hall and lobby. You may be required to wear mask even outdoors. Not wearing a mask may result in denying boarding, being thrown out of vehicle or building. The police controls carefully and may give very high fines for those who do not comply with the law. Vaccinated are not exempt.

You should keep social distance (1.5 m by law) whenever possible. Greet your faraway friends and colleagues with whatever hand-waiving or bowing and avoid hand-shaking, hugging, kissing or any other touching among people from different origins.

You should avoid unnecessary contacts with external people.

You should avoid crowding. Stay calm when entering or exiting conference halls or buildings and take enough time.

If you have any symptoms, stay at your room, and contact the organizers by phone or mail.

COVID tests at Sant Feliu

We are arranging a particular COVID test opportunity in the hotel for those who need a test certificate for the return flights. You will pay directly to the test enterprise. Sign up at the hotel or electronically at https://link.webropol.com/s/bec2021covid.

We have thermometers and home COVID tests for those who feel ill. We cannot, however, give any official test certificates, but those must be requested from appropriate health stations (at your cost).

There are also places in or near Sant Feliu that will do the PCR or Antigen test. At least ‘Alfamèdic Sant Feliu de Guíxols Test Covid-19’ is some 20 minutes walk from the hotel and will do the test for about 60 euros, with appointment. More exact information will be provided soon.

Accompanying persons

The rules and recommendations apply also to accompanying persons. They should be even more careful as they may spend time outside conference venue. You are strongly adviced not to bring with you anyone who is not fully immunized.

Conclusions

If you have taken at least one vaccination and you feel healthy, you are warmly welcome in person to BEC2021 at Sant Feliu.

There is always the option to change online, if you are in any doubt.