Since we reviewed the conference at the beginning of the week, matters have moved on. Indeed, in the last 24 hours or so in Europe:
- Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark have all announced bans on gatherings of over 100 people
- the Czech Republic has announced a ban on gatherings of over 30 people
- Scotland is going to ban gatherings of over 500
- Denmark, Ireland, France, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovakia and parts of Germany have announced school closures
- the Electoral Commission is calling for the local elections in May to be postponed
- the number of sports events being cancelled is growing by the hour (https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/51605235)
The outcome of the COBRA meeting yesterday afternoon decided:
- The UK will move from the containment to the delay stage with immediate effect
- Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as a high temperature or continuous cough should self-isolate for seven days
- There should be no international school trips
- Older and vulnerable people should avoid cruises.
They are not, for the time being, announcing any school closures or bans on public gatherings as they want these measures to have the maximum effect at the right time.
However, pressure appears to be growing to do more, and more organisations are advising their staff not to attend conferences.
In the light of all this, the Board has come to the view that there remains no alternative other than to postpone the conference scheduled for next week.
We will be in touch again once we have had an opportunity to explore options.