Globsec wants to show how to live with the virus

Top level security experts and politicians will come to Bratislava next week for the postponed conference.

Róbert VassRóbert Vass (Source: Courtesy of GLOBSEC)

Defence and security experts will flock to Bratislava for the annual Globsec conference, although in smaller numbers and under coronavirus-related limitations.

Foreign ministers from France, Turkey, and Grece are expected to attend. So are Austrian PM Sebastian Kurz and Belarussian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

The conference that usually attracts high-level experts and politicians to Slovakia, takes place on October 7-8. All participants will be tested, using the exception from attendance limits as introduced by the public health authorities.

Massive testing planned

"It is our ambition to show that however long COVID-19 lingers, be it just this year or another two or three years, we cannot close down the economy for several years, but we must be absolutely responsible and we must make sure to minimise the risks. We need to learn to live with COVID," the conference founder Robert Vass told the media, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The organisers expect some 250 people to attend, plus several hundreds of organisers and support staff. The participants will either be tested in their home country or they will be tested half a day before the conference in the tailor-made testing point directly in the venue.

Exception from the rule

The rules that are effective in Slovakia at the moment do not allow attendance of more than 50 people, including organisers, at events.

Yet the limit does not apply if all the people who participate provide a negative COVID-19 test no older than 12 hours. These can be a RT-PCR test or an antigen test certified in the EU.

Such events must be reported to the respective regional public health office at least 48 hours before the start.

Globsec is planning to manage with its own on-site testing point, using a combination of RT-PCR tests and antigen tests. Without such infrastructure, meeting the requirement for the exception is rather unrealistic.

"Twelve hours is too short a time for us to provide the results to all in the required time," Diana Madarasova from the Medirex labs told the Sme daily. The results are usually delivered to people who pay for their own tests within a few hours, but it can take also days.

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