Industry News

British Antarctic Survey Response to COVID-19

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to have implications for public health, British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has initiated a number of precautionary measures to:

  • protect the health and well-being of staff and colleagues who use BAS buildings/facilities
  • keep Antarctica COVID-19-free
  • prepare for potential disruption to operations in Antarctica, the Arctic, Cambridge and other locations where BAS staff work

We review the outbreak situation daily and take expert advice from Public Health England (PHE) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The following measures are in place:

Public access to BAS Cambridge Offices

  • Planned public engagement events (including the Cambridge Science Festival event scheduled for 21 March) are postponed – or where possible – delivered through online platforms
  • Planned business events are postponed – or where possible – delivered through online platforms
  • No new bookings for meetings at the AURORA Innovation Centre will be accepted until further notice
  • People who intend to visit the Cambridge Office are asked, in advance, to complete a questionnaire about their recent travel or contact with those infected with coronavirus. Visitors who arrive without prior notice will be asked to complete the questionnaire on arrival.
  • Any visitor who has visited a Category 1 country on the list published by PHE and has not completed the advised quarantine period, or has been close to a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus will be denied access to the building.

To find out which events are affected please check the events page here.

Research stations in Antarctica and the Arctic

To avoid Covid-19 reaching BAS stations in Antarctica additional screening is in place for flu-like illness at the point of departure. If colleagues are symptomatic, they are denied travel (quarantine period is 14 days).

The health and wellbeing of BAS staff and colleagues who work with them is a top priority for BAS. Supported by the BAS Medical Unit they have measures to monitor health and safety at stations and on their ship (Rothera, King Edward Point, Signy, and Bird Island and RRS James Clark Ross). Halley Research Station is closed for the Antarctic winter. BAS is working also with the other National Antarctic Operators to share information and update measures to prevent the virus from entering the continent. Plans for the forthcoming Arctic field season are being reviewed.

BAS Cambridge

  • Additional hygiene measures and guidance on prevention of the spread or COVI-19 are in place.
  • Members of staff are being asked to cancel or postpone business travel unless it is business-critical. Video conferencing facilities will enable meetings to continue.

If you would like to keep up to date about BAS’s response to COVID-19 please follow their social media channels, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin for any updates.

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