Update on coronavirus and the Global Forum (13 Feb. 2020)

GS1 Global Office continuously monitors the evolution of the coronavirus situation in preparation for the GS1 Global Forum 2020 in Brussels. We have benchmarked with other significant global events taking place in the period around the GS1 Global Forum.

The GS1 Global Forum will proceed as planned in Brussels from 17 to 21 February 2020. Registrations are on-going and number of registrants are in line with previous years. However, a few MOs from Asia have cancelled their registration due to local regulatory travel restrictions related to the coronavirus situation.

GS1 Global Office is carefully following and adhering to the WHO’s and European Authorities’ recommendations and protocols. We encourage all participants to follow the related WHO public healthcare advice to minimise the risks of spreading infectious diseases available at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

The most relevant points from the WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene practices:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider.

At Global Forum, we will take several measures and precautions to reduce the risk of transfer of infectious disease among participants. For example:

  • We will equip all sanitary locations and locations where food is served with public hand sanitizers
  • We will make individual alcohol-based hand rub available for all participants at the venue
  • We will print and provide leaflets with WHO hygiene recommendations for all participants
  • We will provide instructions to participants on what they have to do in case of suspicious syndrome, which is to go to the emergency service of Hôpital Saint-Pierre located 10 minutes away from the Square. Hôpital Saint-Pierre is the official medical centre in charge of dealing with the coronavirus in Belgium
  • We strongly advise participants with respiratory symptoms to refrain from attending the Global Forum.

We are confident that participants understand the situation and will follow standard recommendations to reduce exposure to and transmission of illnesses.

Note that all general practitioners and hospitals in Belgium have received instructions from the Belgian Ministry of Health on the coronavirus.

We will continue to monitor the status of the coronavirus and the authorities’ recommendations and will keep you updated should there be changes which could be relevant to the Global Forum organisation. Do not hesitate to reach out to us should you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you at the Global Forum.