Courses and Conferences

EMBL Courses and Conferences are a major European platform for sharing and expanding research, knowledge and contacts through face-to-face and virtual interaction

COVID-19 safety policy for on-site events at EMBL Barcelona


As EMBL welcomes the scientific community back to our sites in 2022 with a long-awaited return to in-person events, we continue to prioritise the safety of our participants and staff. Both EMBL and our community of participants need to take new precautions when planning how we come together again in person for learning and scientific exchange.

EMBL continuously monitors local and international guidelines and regulations relating to  COVID-19. The changeable nature of the pandemic means that  regular updates to this policy are necessary. We will inform participants about any substantial changes to this document that come after they register.

COVID-19 vaccination / recovered / recently tested status as a condition of attendance 

EMBL requires that all participants in its on-site conferences at EMBL Barcelona  – including standard participants, speakers, exhibitors, EMBL staff and contractors either show proof of full vaccination against or recovery from COVID-19, or of a current, negative test result. Only fully vaccinated / recovered / negative testing persons will be able to participate in an on-site event. Only Proof of Vaccination / Recovery as defined by the Spanish Ministry of Health will be accepted.

  • The test must have been taken no more than 24 hours (for rapid antigen tests) before you enter the event (72 hours for nucleic acid amplification test e.g. RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, TMA). Any related costs must be borne by the participant. 

For more information, please see the Spain Travel Health website by the Spanish Ministry of Health.

COVID-19 testing as an additional layer of protection

EMBL’s testing requirements for access to events change with the pandemic situation and may go further than local and national COVID-19 regulations.  EMBL will contact registrants directly with the requirements for their particular conference. 

Current requirement as at 22 March 2022

No compulsory testing for vaccinated / recovered participants (please see above). However, regardless of vaccination status, testing before travel and / or self-testing with rapid-antigen kits during your stay is encouraged. EMBL will have a limited supply of rapid-antigen test kits to distribute at the conference.

Safe conduct at the event

By attending, you agree to abide by applicable Spanish regulations and EMBL’s health & safety rules, and to conduct yourself in accordance with all provided instructions. This will include, but is not limited to:

  • refraining from coming to the event, or leaving promptly if you test positive for, or develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 or if you are in any way required to quarantine under the Spanish Entry Regulations
  • complying with the prevailing mask-wearing policy communicated at the event;
  • following instructions on physical distancing and crowd circulation at the event;
  • following distancing and circulation instructions on-site to minimise contact; 
  • observing good hand-washing/-disinfection and hygiene etiquette;

EMBL’s commitment to COVID-19 safety at our courses and conferences 

EMBL has a comprehensive on-site COVID-19 safety plan that consists of a range of precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Underpinned by the limitation of access to immunised (i.e. vaccinated or recovered) or COVID-19 negative tested participants, the plan is adapted over time and, if necessary, on an event by event basis, to ensure that it remains proportionate to the trajectory of the pandemic and to the latest developments. 

  • Periodic testing on a self-test basis may be in place if deemed appropriate;
  • A mask wearing policy, which will, as a minimum, comply with Spanish and local regulations at the time of the event will be communicated and enforced for both staff and participants. Participants must bring their own supply of surgical or FFP2 masks to meet the requirements at the time; 
  • Capacities may be reduced to limit crowding and circulation routes / distancing guidelines will be in place;
  • Proper cleaning and disinfection protocols and workplace practices are in place as a standard and hand sanitising stations are present throughout the building 

Participants accept that they may be asked to leave the event should they fail to meet the obligations contained herein.