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COVID-19 and ICCB 2021

The ICCB Steering Committee is planning for ICCB 2021 to take place as scheduled in Kigali from 18-22 July 2021.

We are mindful of the time window attendees and ICCB sponsors and exhibitors need to organize travel plans to Rwanda, secure funding, and change their plans if necessary. 

We will communicate our plans frequently and clearly for responding to the evolving nature of Covid-19 and it's potential impact on ICCB 2021 so attendees, sponsors and exhibitors have the information they need to make decisions. 

We are optimistic that the Congress will be held as scheduled. However, Covid-19 is a standing agenda item for the ICCB Steering Committee and the committee will provide monthly updates on this page. 

Questions: We realize that you may have questions about Covid-19 as you plan to attend ICCB 2021 next year in Kigali. Please email covid-19 (@) conbio (dot) org and we will respond promptly within 24-48 hours. 

ICCB 2021 Contigency Plan

SCB has tentatively reserved back-up dates for ICCB 2021 should the congress need to be postponed. Back-up dates include mid-December 2021 and early January 2022.

Other scenarios under consideration include a scaled-down in-person event that adopts comprehensive virtual technology to support extensive remote presentations and participation.  

A decision to postpone or scale down the Congress doesn't happen in one moment, but through a series of assessments made over time. Depending on the level of risk presented by Covid-19 in late 2020, we will offer an assessment and decision on whether to implement contingency plans.

In the lead-up to this time frame, we will be engaged with our partners in Rwanda, including the Rwanda Convention Bureau, and communicate clearly with members and potential attendees and sponsors so participants have the information they need to make informed decisions in advance. 

SCB will support evidence-based decision-making around the individual and population health risk of attendees by responding proactively to recommendations from the World Health Organization, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and local health departments in Kigali.

Among the risk assessments that will inform implementation of contigency plans is whether Covid-19 constitutes a public health emergency at the national, regional, or global level, in late 2020, particularly whether it falls under one or more of the following categories: 

  • Global Health Pandemic
  • Public Health Emergency of International Concern
  • Regional Epidemic 

Regardless of the long term impact of Covid-19, the Steering Committee will work to implement health security protocols that support a safe and healthy environment. The committee is also mindful of growing ethical concerns around global travel and is looking at virtual technology that supports remote participation at scale with the congress budget. 


How does Covid-19 affect planning for ICCB 2021?
Our ICCB planning timeline and operations are not affected by Covid-19.  Expect the call for abstracts and other planning inititiatves to happen on the same time scale as previous ICCBs. We are, however, taking extra measures to prepare for the possibility that ICCB 2021 may need to be postponed as a result of Covid-19. 

If ICCB is postponed, when would it be rescheduled? 
In the event that we implement the contingency plan to reschedule ICCB, we will work to hold the Congress in mid-December 2021 or early January 2022. 

Given uncertainty around the longterm impact of Covid-19, should I submit an abstract for ICCB 2021?
Yes. We plan on hosting ICCB at its scheduled time. Even if ICCB is postponed, accepted abstracts will be honored at the make-up date. 

Steering Committee Updates on COVID-19

March 2020
We've initiated discussions with the Rwanda Convention Bureau and the Kigali Convention Center on reserving back-up dates (mid-December 2021 / early January 2022) in case ICCB needs to be postponed due to Covid-19. COVID-19 will be a standing agenda items for all monthly meetings of the Steering Committee for as long as the virus remains a Global Health Pandemic, a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, or a Regional Epidemic.  

April 2020
The Rwanda Convention Bureau is working with the Kigali Convention Center on proposed back-up dates, should ICCB need to be postponed. Back-up dates include 12-16 December 2021 and 10 - 14 January 2022.

May 2020
The Steering Committee discussed the role of virtual technology that supports remote participation should ICCB need to scale-down to a smaller in-person event. The Committee is taking steps to understand potential costs and impact of virtual technology at scale.