Dear Eniec Members and Friends,
It is with the biggest regret that on behalf of the board, I must inform you that we have decided to cancel our Annual Meeting which was scheduled on March 25 -27 2020 in Tallinn. Due to the risks of the global situation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we had no choice but to take this step.
The Board has a responsibility on how to respond under risk situations and has been constantly monitoring the situation with regards to the Eniec Annual Meeting. Before adopting this unprecedented and sad decision, the board has consulted with national health authorities, have talked to the Chair of the Organizing Committee and with heard the opinions of some Eniec Members
Followingly, we present you some of our concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that have led us to take this decision:
The board was extremely aware of not only of putting Eniec members at risk through their participation at the Annual Meeting but also the potential damage that can be caused should an Eniec member unknowingly carry the virus back into local environments or bring it to Estonia.
- Many of Eniec´s members work in the aging sector and older adults are one of the groups at high risk of contagiousness and mortality. Also, one of the venues was an aging center
- Last week we learned of the first reported cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Estonia, and even the risk in Tallinn remains very low, our presence can contribute to spreading the disease in the local communities. Participants in our Annual Meeting come from 9 different countries.
- The Estonia authorities have not prohibited the celebration of any meeting but have advised canceling international events. Also, countries as The Netherlands are considered situations of high risk. The Estonia Minister of Education and Trade has canceled his official trip to the Netherlands.
- Some members have already canceled their participation in the Annual Meeting due to job reasons as they must remain on call at their jobs as long as the crisis situation remains.
- The Government in Hungary does not allow any international trips for the public sector, only if extremely necessary and under special conditions. This has obliged our members in Hungary to cancel their participation in our AM.
- Some governments recommend not traveling abroad and some countries have already closed cities, towns, schools, etc. The situation is rapidly evolving and there is no certainty that other countries adopt similar measures that affect Eniec members.
- Some members who have tickets with Brussels Airlines and Lufthansa Airlines have informed us that their flights have been canceled. Finnish airline will cancel some flights at the end of March
- In the unfortunate case, that one Eniec member was contagious or any of us spread the disease, the reputation of our Network will be severely affected.
The board is aware that the Organizing Committee has been tirelessly working to prepare for this event for a long time and it saddens us to a great extent to cancel at this time. We want to acknowledge and truly thank the dedication and commitment of Siiri Jaakson, Chair of the Organizing Committee, Tuulikki Hakala, Eva Rönkkö, Susanna Lehtovaara, Inka Lehtonen and Alina Ahtamo
During the next days, the board will facilitate the process for discussing any urgent agenda items needed to meet with our legal duties via an internet platform
Please accept our apologies with regards to this unfortunate and sad matter. If you have any questions, kindly do not hesitate to contact us