Republished from: http://centralbaltic.eu/column/covid-19
For implementing projects
We know that the situation causes concerns for our projects as well. Thus, we encourage all our projects to thoroughly evaluate their work plans and to identify activities that are at risk, and make plans for alternative activities (online instead of physical meeting, postponing or changing the methodology of an activity, etc.).
Special costs related to COVID-19 safety measures
There are currently restrictions in the Central Baltic countries regarding the organisation of events and travelling. When organising project-related face to face external events or when travelling during the pandemic, special costs related to ensuring the safety of the participants may occur. Such costs are considered eligible for the projects. These costs include for example buying face masks to participants during a project event or booking a cabin on a ferry trip to avoid crowds. National and organisational rules and guidance on COVID-19 related procedures as well as principles of sound financial management must always be followed.
Providing lunch to meeting participants during e-meetings
Lunch can be provided, and it is an eligible project cost, in certain situations during an e-meeting with a minimum duration of six hours. The precondition for the eligibility is that the possibility for having the lunch can be provided for all meeting participants and equal treatment is guaranteed.
Travel cost reimbursement
Most employees or event organisers are now cancelling meetings. In the ambition to contain the virus, we support this safety measure. Therefore, cancellations of already bought travels may be needed. In such cases, you should first and foremost seek reimbursement from your travel insurance or the company from which the ticket was bought. If no reimbursement is available, the costs will be considered eligible.
Costs of cancelled meetings
Like for our own PIS seminar, the changed situation might mean that you have to cancel events that were planned and for which some costs were already paid. As above, you should first try to limit the financial impact, but inevitable costs will be considered eligible.
Planning for future activities
Our best advice now is to follow national and organisational rules, and to apply common sense measures to limit the spread of the virus (wash your hands properly, cough in your sleeve, don’t go to work if you’re not feeling well etc). Based on the information currently available it is hard or even impossible to make plans for the near future. We recommend you to stay flexible and to look for options to implement your project in a safe and responsible manner. If activities must be postponed, we will understand why this has taken place. If you see that large or important project activities will have to be delayed, please inform your contact person immediately. It is possible that you can no longer fully achieve your initial workplan or objectives. These situations and potential possible plan B’s will have to be discussed for each project according to your specific circumstances.
What to do, when facing challenges?
Send information on the possible challenges of your project to your JS contact person. All cases will be examined individually and depending on the kind of project and the kinds of challenges that are faced, the optimal solution in each given case will be looked after together with the Lead Partner.
The actions needed to ensure the best possible achievement of project results will be finally decided and taken only after it is clear when the situation will be normalised, and all project activities can be resumed.
From the programme side there is some flexibility when it comes to the project timetable. We understand that adjustments within the existing workplan will be needed. Where this is not enough, prolongation of the project can be considered. All decisions will be done based on an analysis of the needs and situation of each individual project.
For all above guidance, please remember good documentation of the processes.