COVID-19

[Update: Tue 24 Mar 2020]

Dear friends of IOI,

As we are all aware, the international situation with COVID-19 is unpredictable and is changing rapidly. However challenging, all countries are united to fight the battle against this invisible foe. In this difficult time, our thoughts are with you all, and especially with those that have lost their dear ones in this pandemic around the world.

In the best interest of the health and well being of all IOI participants, The IC and the Singapore hosts have met online on March [21] to evaluate the current situation. As a result, we have the following information
to share with the community:

1. IOI 2020 will NOT run in July as planned.
2. We are still aiming to have IOI2020 on-site in Singapore if at all possible. As a backup plan, we are looking seriously for an online IOI.
3. In whatever form it runs, IOI 2020 will not take place any earlier than September 2020.

We hope this new information will give you flexibility in making plans for selecting teams. The IC and hosts will continue to meet monthly, and we will keep you all updated as things develop further. If you have any questions, please contact the IOI Secretariat at secretary.ioinformatics@gmail.com.

Stay safe and Best wishes,
Greg Lee
IOI President

===========================================
Prof. Greg C Lee, PhD
National Taiwan Normal University
Executive Vice President &
Distinguished Professor of Computer Science
Email: leeg@csie.ntnu.edu.tw
===========================================

[Update: Sun 15 Mar 2020]

Dear all team leaders/coordinators,

Nine days are a long time in a COVID-19 pandemic world since we sent IOI 2020 invitation letters to all of you on Fri, 6 March 2020. Back then, there were ~100K cases worldwide (with 90K+ in a few countries/regions) and us, the host Singapore, was still in the top 10 affected countries. Our stand at that point was: Unless there is a substantial deterioration in the situation, IOI 2020 will continue as originally scheduled and planned.

As of today, there are 160K cases [worldwide] and Singapore is now [low on] the list of worst affected countries/regions. This signals the beginning of "exponential growth" of this pandemic in many parts of the world. Various social distancing efforts to "flatten the curve" worldwide, which we all should do to protect our loved ones especially the elderly, will ultimately prolong this pandemic period. The question is whether the stretch will be (far) beyond late April 2020 -- we elaborate on this cutoff time below.

As of today, the situation in Singapore itself remains under control but tighter measures are being applied. The notable new measures that will directly affect IOI 2020 planning are new travel restrictions and new social distancing advisory on [large] gatherings over 250 [people].

We, the organisers of IOI 2020 in Singapore, won the bid for hosting rights back in IOI 2015 Kazakhstan. Since then, we have been working hard in the past 4.5 years to make IOI 2020 happen in July 2020 as planned.

19 July 2020 is still 125 days from now and things may improve by then (or not). But we cannot make a go/no-go decision as late as early-July as teams need to deal with flight bookings that provide cancellation/rebooking options, travel restrictions (see IATA latest information), difficulties in getting health/travel insurances, potential 14 days quarantine upon arrival, etc. As the organisers, we also need to commit to pay venue/accommodation/IT infrastructure/food/event organisers/various fees by late April 2020. Beyond which, it is a point of no return for postponement as our budget will already be heavily exhausted on the non-refundable parts of various contracts.

IOI 2020 organizing committees are currently discussing various contingency plans with the IOI International Committee (IC). We, together with the IC, are still intending to give our final go/no-go decision no later than 30 April 2020.

Meanwhile, we plan to update the IOI community periodically on this matter, as a few days are a long time in pandemic "exponential growth" stage.

With this 15 March 2020 update, we also would like to have a quick survey. Please give a few minutes of your time to help us plan this IOI 2020. The survey form can be accessed here.

Stay safe everyone.

Regards,

Associate Prof Tan Sun Teck
IOI 2020 Executive Director

 

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Please refer to this website for the latest information on Singapore's border control measures in response to the COVID-19 situation.

 

MEASURES AT NUS

IOI 2020 Organising Committee, the National University of Singapore, has put in place a set of precautionary measures to mitigate the potential risks in light of COVID-19 and to keep students, staff, and visitors safe and healthy. These measures are consistent with the recommendations provided by Singapore's Ministry of Health and the guidelines set by the Ministry of Education.