In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, many of you have asked us: Should we cancel our meetings? Can we recover our costs from pre-paid bookings? Should we avoid travelling? What alternatives do we have?
To help you understand the impact of the epidemic on your Interreg Europe project, we put together a list of recommendations.
Should you travel abroad for meetings?
There is no single, correct answer. At present, the World Health Organisation '...continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.'
Therefore, we recommend that you assess the situation based on the advice of:
- World Health Organisation (WHO)
- Your embassy
- National health organisations
- Partner organisations
You should avoid travelling if:
- There is an official travel ban or travel warning for the region
- A partner organisation restricts travels for meetings
- You have other justified medical conditions
Are your costs eligible?
Some of you may have already paid for flights, hotels, catering, or a venue hire. What should you do if you cannot attend the event?
We recommend that you ask for reimbursement quickly and in line with contractual terms.
If the costs are not recoverable, then talk to your first level controller. In our experience, the first level control could say that irrecoverable costs are eligible if the situation is a result of unforeseen external circumstance and you have a documented justification.
How can you protect yourself?
Could you carry out your meeting or event using videoconferencing?
If not, apply the preventive measures the World Health Organisation suggests. For example:
- Make hand sanitizers available
- Carry out a careful and daily alcohol-based disinfection of the room
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