You have probably seen that the Belgian Federal government decided last night to take some stringent measures to prevent the development of the CoVid-19 virus in Belgium. These included the closure of all schools, cafe's and restaurants and the limited opening of shops up until 3rd April.

The EC has also now decided that all staff should work from home and there will be no visitors.

As far as EARSC is concerned we in the secretariat are all affected by these measures in different ways and each member of the secretariat is adapting their way of working according to their specific situation. Those with children are most impacted.

However, for the moment at least, EARSC will continue to work normally - albeit with significant teleworking. We are working on projects and services where we can work remotely and continue to make progress - and are doing so. Some of our activities are directly concerned; most specifically for PARSEC where a Bootcamp was to have been organised at the end of March. With the agreement of the EC (as it is a contractual requirement) this was changed last week to being a virtual bootcamp and our team are exploring how best to manage this very great challenge to organise a virtual matchmaking type event. It is going to be very interesting to see how this works.

Another large project for us at the moment is preparing our annual conference ExpandEO. For the moment we are committed to going ahead towards the end of June, but no-one can say what the situation will then be and we shall certainly inform you of any change to this.

For other projects, we are working on certain deliverables and awaiting further legal information regarding the contractual obligations. We already know that incurred costs will be covered in the event of cancellation but for new events we are still uncertain.

Please contact us with questions if you wish and we shall keep you informed as usual through our monthly report, through our blog, through social media channels (@EARSC) and through any news on our website (www.earsc.org/) and our portal (earsc-portal.eu).

The situation will be reviewed on a daily basis and we shall inform you of any changes which may affect the service which we provide you with.

On behalf of all the EARSC team, I wish you strength to carry through this exceptional crisis and hope that you all emerge the other side with as little damage as possible.



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