The European Congress of Radiology (ECR) will not take place onsite in Vienna, Austria, this year. Instead it will be a digital-only event from 15–19 July, the European Society of Radiology (ESR) has announced.
“It is with a heavy heart and much regret that the board of directors of the ESR has decided not to hold an onsite ECR in 2020,” the ESR statement noted. ” As you can imagine,”, the board of directors continue in a letter addressed to ECR participants, “this serious decision was not taken easily. The choice not to hold ECR 2020 onsite presents a significant burden for the European Society of Radiology and will also influence future congresses and endeavours. However, we have a social responsibility to our members, partners, staff, and the general public. In the current crisis, the ESR must lead by example, and it is clear that your safety will always be our number one priority, and we sincerely hope for your understanding and support of our decision.”
The society also noted: “Public health authorities in Austria, as well as much of the rest of the world, have restricted large meetings and enforced travel bans, with no official indication as to when these restrictions will be lifted. As we are currently witnessing, almost all specialty and subspecialty societies and other congress organisers have already, or will shortly, cancel their meetings for 2020.”
The ESR said it made its decision because the COVID-19 outbreak had worsened since the original resolution was made to postpone the conference, with Europe becoming the epicentre of the global pandemic.
The letter closes with a note of gratitude: “We are not only a medical profession, but a family, and helping and protecting one another during moments like these is of the utmost importance. At no time have your services to radiology and healthcare been more important than now and the ESR board of directors would like to thank you, not only for your ongoing contribution to helping fight coronavirus, in whatever form it might take, but also for your support of our congress and society. We sincerely hope that we can rely on a continuation of this support in the future.”
Registration fees and expenses
Registration fees paid by delegates for ECR 2020 will be valid for ECR 2021, due to take place on 3–7 March in Vienna. Also, an ECR 2020 registration will automatically grant free access to the online congress in July 2020, including on-demand access until 31 December 2020.
Any registration queries should go to the ESR staff at firstname.lastname@example.org, although the ESR urged registered attendees to be patient.
With respect to flight and accommodation bookings, the ESR suggested people check the provider’s cancellation policy.
“As there is not yet an official statement by the Austrian government regarding travel restrictions, border openings, or the allowance to hold major events in July, you should consider waiting with the cancellation of your booking if you are not eligible for free cancellation now,” the ESR stated.
The ECR 2020 Book of Abstracts has also been published online in the society’s journal, Insights into Imaging.