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Jon / George,
In the past week I have been contacted by people asking about the July Plenary in Montreal. One individual who lives in Canada is very concerned about attendance at the event and told me I should talk with my colleagues in China about what it takes to go back to China from Canada.
I spoke to one of my colleagues this week from China, who is actually dealing with this right now, and as he described to me, it is a significant decision for him. First, he told me he is required to get 4 covid tests within the week of leaving. While a hassle, I could understand people saying that’s not so bad. However, he also told me that once back in China, he needs to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks where he is not permitted to leave his room, and after the two weeks if ok, goes to another hotel for another week where it isn’t as restrictive. So attending this meeting will require him to quarantine away from his family for three weeks in these hotels. While clearly a cost issue for the companies paying for this – I think it is a pretty big request of us to make of our participants.
I looked through the material that has been presented, and Jon’s executive secretary report indicates that entering and exiting Canada is being monitored. I will say that I remember more discussion about getting into Canada than exiting.
I realize this is a large task given all of the various countries that people are attending from – but are we aware of the burden our participants will have to deal with globally to leave the July Plenary. I looked in the report, and I did not see any of this really addressed. If I missed something, I apologize – but I would like to understand this better.
I do realize that this will be used to support the argument for hybrid meetings. However, the reality is, and I think that there is general agreement about this, that there is an inherent value in being able to meet F2F, which is why we are trying to push ahead. Given this new info I learned – it seems that the investment that different individuals must make, will differ greatly based on their geographic location, and I have reservations about that.
Thanks in advance.
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