Update 16 November 2021:
We are deeply disappointed to announce that the REC Market Meeting, due to be held on 30th Nov and 1st Dec, is postponed to 5th and 6th April 2022. This decision has been taken by the Board of RECS International in light of new measures put in place by the Dutch Government on Friday 12th Nov 2021 to combat rapidly increasing COVID-19 infections in the country. All delegates have now received a notification of the postponement.
We were required to postpone the event following new measures to counter a new wave of COVID-19 announced by the Dutch government on Friday 12th November. The Dutch government requirements can be seen here. The measures will last from the 13th of November until at least the 3rd of December.
The RECS International Board and Secretariat, in discussion with the conference venues, has assessed these measures and have jointly concluded that facilitation of a conference under the current restrictions is not possible. The restrictions remove almost all networking opportunities by requiring assigned seating during the conference sessions and all breaks (lunch/coffee). It would also not be possible to hold a conference get together or dinner.
We recognize that for many of you these changes may come as a surprise. This was also the case for us as organizers and for the hotel itself as the venue provider. The COVID-19 situation has changed extremely rapidly in the Netherlands, and other parts of Europe, in the past few days. New infections in the Netherlands are at an all-time high, having doubled in the last two weeks and quadrupled in the past month. The infection rates in NL are not being driven by high rates in particular age groups, as has been the case in previous waves, but are spread throughout the population, placing a severe burden on the country’s health care system. Europe, as a whole, is struggling with the pandemic and has seen a more than 50% jump in coronavirus cases in the last month. The director of WHO’s Europe region, Dr Hans Kluge, recently said the rising COVID-19 case counts are of “grave concern” and that “Europe is back at the epicentre of the pandemic, where we were one year ago.”
In addition to the new Dutch measures and the rapidly increasing COVID risk, several key speakers and other delegates of the REC Market Meeting cancelled their attendance due to either public health policy in their country of residence, the health and safety policies of their organisations, or their own personal concerns. All of which the RECS International Secretariat fully respects.
RECS International has always been committed to providing an in-person event, because of the importance of personal connections between delegates. For this reason, we will not be moving to an online event and will instead move the whole conference, including the current programme, to 2022.
Please feel free to contact the RECS International secretariat (email@example.com) with any questions or comments you may have. We look forward to finally welcoming you to Amsterdam next year.
RECS International Secretary-General
On behalf of the board of RECS International.