Coronavirus (COVID 19) update regarding BOA activities and events

19 Mar 2020

Version 3 – updated 19 March 2020 

This update outlines the current approach within the BOA to the coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak relating to BOA activities and events. There is a separate BOA statement about impacts on clinical services, patients and training, available here

We are monitoring the national and global situation and following guidance issued by Public Health England and in the Department of Health and Social Care’s corona virus action plan. We are also liaising with Royal Colleges and other Surgical Associations to keep abreast as the situation develops.

We are aware that this is a dynamic situation and we are committed to keeping our members and colleagues informed.

The BOA has taken the decision to cancel the BOA-run TOTs and TOES face-to-face courses in March-May 2020. The people booked onto the current courses are being contacted. The TOES course on 30th June will be reviewed nearer the time. The venue for the Future Leaders Programme module on 1st and 2nd June 2020 has been cancelled and participants are being contacted. We are also exploring options for alternative provision of courses e.g. via webinar or online learning.

In the event of a cancellation of a BOA event we will refund any delegate fees, or offer a transfer to an alternative date if appropriate. We will also refund fees for those who are unable to travel from areas affected by the coronavirus virus outbreak or if there are travel restrictions imposed by their governments and/or the UK government. Documentary evidence to support this may be required. The BOA is not responsible for any travel or other costs that may have been incurred. Regular updates for travellers to the UK from countries and regions affected can be found on the gov.uk website.

The BOA Annual Congress which is scheduled to take place 15th-18th September in Birmingham is still scheduled to go ahead at this point. We are continuing to monitor the situation and are keeping this under review. If any changes are made we will update members as soon as possible. 

Application dates/processes for 2020 schemes of Travelling Fellowships, Future Leaders Programme and Forte Summer School places are under review in light of the coronavirus (COVID 19) situation, and we aim to make decisions on these at the start of April.

We all need to work together to help limit the spread of the virus. The latest Government advice asks everyone to: 

  1. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water or use hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available.
  2. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
  3. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
  4. If you have a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) or a new, continuous cough, you are requested to self-isolate for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, even if you have not travelled to affected areas. You do not need to call NHS 111 unless your symptoms worsen or are no better after 7 days.

As more information emerges, recommendations may change and we will update our website accordingly.