The XXIV IFCCEFLM European Congress of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EuroMedLab Congress 2021) to be held as an in-presence meeting between 28th of November and 2nd of December in Germany has been postponed as the country has been hit very hard by a fourth wave of COVID-19.
The biannual EuroMedLab congress is jointly hosted by the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC; Lombardia, Italy), European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM; Milano, Italy), and the German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (DGKL; Berlin, Germany). The event has proven to be one of the leading forums to bring together scientists, laboratory specialists, clinicians, and industry colleagues in the field of clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine.
The 24th EuroMedLab would have been the first major IFCC/EFLM conference to be held following a long delay caused by the pandemic and was expected to provide an excellent opportunity to bring together laboratory specialists from many national societies both physically and virtually. At EuroMedLab Congress 2021, attendees were expected to experience the outstanding scientific program, featuring innovative and diverse educational opportunities that incorporate the best of clinical laboratory medicine and in vitro diagnostics, including lectures, symposia, recent advancements in clinical practice and science, poster presentations, and much more. In addition to the scientific program, excellent social opportunities had been organized for the attendees to enjoy many attractions in Munich.
However, at a time when the EuroMedLab Congress 2021 was in the final stages of preparation, Germany has been hit very hard by a fourth COVID-19 wave, particularly in the area of the venue in Munich. Travel warnings for Germany have been issued by some countries even for vaccinated individuals, making it potentially problematic to return home after the congress. The local government has announced lockdowns for the coming days in all areas, where the seven-day incidences exceed 1,000 in 100,000. Munich as the EuroMedLab venue is approaching this threshold. Keeping in mind the safety of all attendees, exhibitors and staff, the organizers have decided that an orderly meeting cannot be warranted under these conditions. Therefore, IFCC and EFLM, together with the Congress Organizing Committee have decided to postpone EuroMedLab Congress 2021. The organizers are currently looking into rescheduling in 2022 and will communicate a new date for the conference in the near future.