As you will no doubt have seen, around Europe we are experiencing a surge in covid cases and increasing restrictions. On Friday, we were also informed of a new variant – Omicron – and the first case of it in Belgium.
Due to these developments, the Executive Board of VSE met on Saturday 27 November, and with a heavy heart made the decision that VSE’s live events on 2nd and 3rd of December should all be moved to fully online. This means all events will go ahead, but only in the online format.
We as Board members are extremely disappointed and we don’t doubt you will feel the same. We also understand that many will feel the risks are manageable. Yet, ultimately, we must act responsibly not only to avoid risks to individuals but also to the operation of frontline services which may have staff entering quarantine if countries change restrictions during the week.
We knew there would be risks to a live event when we made the original decision to hold the conference in Belgium. This is why we have in place a fully contingency plan for running our events online. We are now in the process of setting up links for everyone to participate and we will inform everyone of the links as quickly as possible.
[For Members of Victim Support Europe who have flights booked and will have to cancel, please note the following. VSE will still be able to cover costs for cancelled flights. However, under EU Commission requirements, organisations should first seek reimbursement from airline companies and provide proof where reimbursement is refused]
Whilst we are deeply disappointed to be moving to fully online, we know this is the right decision in the interests of all and we are confident that our online conference will remain highly engaging, informative and inspiring.
Thank you all for your understanding in these difficult times.
We look forward to seeing you online next week!
VSE Executive Board