COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

The EPA 2020 congress is going virtual!

Updated 7 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our model of face-to-face meetings as authorities have imposed travel restrictions and physical distancing which are increasingly stringent. To adapt to the current situation, the EPA Board has decided to transform the 28th European Congress of Psychiatry in Madrid into a fully virtual meeting that will offer the mental health community the possibility for educational exchanges, scientific news and best practice updates while protecting the safety, health, and well-being of all congress participants.

The virtual meeting will take place between 4 – 7 July 2020. Virtual sessions will allow for live interaction, and will be available on-demand in the weeks following the congress.

In this time of uncertainty, we look to transform this crisis into a new opportunity, one that will open a wide and ongoing discussion on our collective local and national experiences and challenges in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, especially with regard to our patients. The EPA is working hard to make this online platform a relevant and effective communication channel between clinicians and researchers, with positive effects reaching far beyond the congress.

It is our goal that this virtual congress will continue to meet the needs of the EPA community and to ensure a viable future for the association’s activities in psychiatric education and professional support. Registered participants will still be eligible to receive the number of CME credits attributed to the virtual meeting, and authors whose abstracts were accepted will be published in the digital abstract book, with e-posters available for virtual consultation.

Further registration and scheduling details for delegates, speakers and industry partners will be announced in due course. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section below, which is updated regularly to reflect the most recent changes in policy.

We thank you in advance for your support in making the EPA 2020 Virtual Congress a success!

Julian Beezhold, Secretary General
Geert Dom, Treasurer
Peter Falkai, EPA President-Elect
Silvana Galderisi, EPA Past President
Simavi Vahip, NPA President
Philip Gorwood, EPA President

Frequently Asked Questions

Please find below answers to most frequently asked questions regarding the EPA 2020 virtual congress.

No. The EPA Board has been obligated to transform the 28th European Congress of Psychiatry in Madrid into a fully virtual meeting.

Yes, you are automatically registered for the virtual meeting. Further details and guidance on how to navigate the meeting platform will be announced in due course.

The platform will first be available between 4 – 7 July 2020, with some sessions live-streamed according to the programme schedule. In addition, the platform and all sessions will be available on-demand in the weeks following the congress.

The content will be available on-demand for a period following the congress dates, for all registered participants. More information on how long the content will be available for after the congress dates will follow for registered participants, sponsors & exhibitors only.

Registration is now open for new participants to register for the virtual congress. More information is available at

EPA 2020 virtual meeting will offer you a full virtual experience and the opportunity to take part in every aspect of the programme, including the chance to:

  • Access all presentations and session recordings. Create your own schedule to attend any and all of the sessions whenever and wherever you choose.
  • Network with colleagues. Browse the list of participants and click on their name to contact them.
  • Earn CME credits. Participate in the scientific programme and be eligible to receive the number of CME credits attributed to the virtual meeting.
  • Access all the e-posters. Browse research on the hottest topics published in the congress digital abstract book and connect with the abstract authors and other colleagues from around the world through the e-poster virtual consultations.
  • Join the debate. During a live-streamed or recorded session, participate in live conversations with delegates from all over the world.
  • Give feedback. Use the short session surveys to rate the sessions and help us improve the overall quality of the programme.
  • Visit the virtual exhibition hall. Journey through the exhibition booths, explore the displayed materials, contact exhibitors directly, and chat with other visitors.

To attend the virtual meeting, you need a good internet connection, your device or computer, and a valid registration. You will receive login details a few days prior to the meeting.

The CME/CPD certificate will be available after completing the online evaluation and credit claiming procedure. You will receive a link in an email after the event. For more information, click here.

The EPA is doing its best to ensure that the virtual meeting will incorporate as much of the congress experience and activities as possible. All individuals involved will be contacted and ongoing updates on programme scheduling will be announced in due course.

Yes. Registered authors whose abstracts were accepted will be published in the digital abstract supplement of European Psychiatry, which will be available for participants at the start of the congress via the congress website.

No, the slides from the session presentations cannot be downloaded, but you will be able to have the oral presentations of many presenters, where the slides are being shown.

We will contact you directly regarding your participation in the programme.

Yes, there will be a virtual exhibition area.

We will contact you directly regarding your participation. If you need to get in touch with us, please contact Maya Ravinsky, Industry Liaison.

There is no registration for exhibition only, all exhibitors and participants may access the full virtual meeting.

If you would like to cancel your registration to the virtual meeting, you are able to receive a 100% refund on registration until 19 April 2020. Please consult the cancellation policy outlined on the registration page for the most up to date information. Please click here.

Please check the cancellation policy of your booking.

For your non-refundable accommodation booked by Kenes, the hotels will be contacted to find an optimal solution.

If you have a refundable booking, you will be contacted.

Other features on these aspects are available on the internet site

The EPA did not handle the transportation booking services. Please see below a list of the cancellation policy information on some of the major international airlines that provide flights to Madrid.

If your carrier is not listed, please check their respective website for updated information.

Please note that the policies of the different airlines are changing rapidly, and we are not responsible for any inaccuracies in the information below.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit the website of your ticket provider.

British Airways

British Airways expects to reduce capacity by 80% in April and May 2020. Cancelled flights are eligible for refund.

  • If you’re booked to travel until May 31, 2020, you have the option to receive a voucher for future travel. Vouchers are good for 12 months from original departure date.
  • Tickets purchased between March 3 and May 31, 2020, can be either rebooked within 12 months of departure or refunded via flight voucher. The flight voucher is good for 12 months from original date of departure.

British Airways Full Policy


Ryanair has announced a suspension of service starting March 24, 2020. Cancelled flights are eligible for refund. Ryanair has scheduled a limited number of repatriation flights and will only answer queries regarding these in the short term.

From March 13 to April 30, 2020, Ryanair will waive the flight change fee for customers who wish to change their travel plans due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. This policy applies to all existing and new bookings.

Ryanair Full Policy


Iberia expects to reduce capacity by 80% in April and May 2020. Cancelled flights are eligible for refund. If you would like to request a voucher for future travel (not a full refund), you can do so via Iberia’s online form if you are currently booked to travel before April 30.

  • If you have a ticket issued until March 11 to fly between March 1 and May 31, you have the ability to change the dates or request a voucher for the amount of the ticket, valid through March 31, 2021. This means you will have to pay more for tickets that cost more than the voucher, even if the departure and arrival cities are the same.
  • Changes of your ticket are also allowed for travel before March 31, 2021 with the following exceptions: April 30 to May 2; July 1 to August 15; October 9 to 12; December 4 to 9; December 19 to January 10,2021; and March 24 to 31 2021.
  • LEVEL, Iberia’s affiliate airline, has announced a 100% shutdown effective March 20, 2020. LEVEL has not announced a flight resumption date. Affected flights are eligible for refund.


EasyJet has announced a suspension of all flights with no end date specified. Customers who wish to change their travel plans can now move their flights to alternative dates and/or an alternative destination without a change fee. If the new fare is higher customers would only be required to pay the fare difference. This waiver applies to both existing and new bookings until further notice.

easyJet Full Policy

Air France/KLM

Due to increasing travel restrictions, and faced with a sharp decline in demand, Air France and KLM will be reducing flight capacity by up to 90%. This capacity reduction is currently planned to last at least into May.

  • Air France and KLM have instituted a flexible booking policy for all tickets issued up to May 31, 2020. Tickets may be rebooked by September 30, 2020 for a later date up until November 30, 2020, or passengers have the option to receive a non-refundable voucher good for 12 months. The voucher can be used interchangeably on Air France, KLM, Delta or Virgin Atlantic.
  • Air France and KLM are steering passengers into accepting a voucher. EU 261 clearly states that cancelled flights are eligible for cash refund. You may have to demand that the airline honor that rule.

Air France/KLM Full Policy


Customers who have booked tickets by April 3, 2020 for any flight departing February 25 to May 31, 2020 may rebook until December 31, 2020 or receive a voucher good for one year from original ticket issue date. Cancelled flights are eligible for refund.

Alitalia Full Policy

Lufthansa Group

Lufthansa Group has grounded international service with the exception of repatriation flights until at least April 19, 2020. Cancelled flights are eligible for refund.

  • For bookings made until 19 April 2020, the Lufthansa Group airlines waive the rebooking fees for all newly booked flights worldwide and offer a one-time rebooking free of charge—regardless of the conditions of the original fare purchased. Passengers can in future rebook to a new travel date until 30 April 2021 without rebooking fees. Rebooking must be done by 31 August 2020. If the original fare is no longer available, the corresponding difference must be paid, but you will receive an up to €50 discount on this amount if the new travel date is on/before 31 December 2020.
  • If you hold a ticket for a cancelled or an existing Lufthansa Group flight, you can keep the ticket without having to commit to a new flight date right away. Existing bookings will initially be cancelled, but the ticket and ticket value will remain unchanged and can be extended to a new departure date up to and including 31 December 2020. You can also rebook to another destination. The new flight must be booked until 31 August 2020.
  • In addition we offer you for every rebooked ticket a discount of 50€ on the ticket price. Rebooking fees will still not be charged, regardless of which fare was booked. Should the rebooked fare be more expensive due to a change of destination (e.g. rebooking from short-haul to long-haul), change of class of travel or similar, an additional payment may be necessary despite the discount.

Lufthansa Group Full Policy

LOT Polish Airlines

The government of Poland has suspended flights until at least April 12. Cancelled flights are eligible for refund per EU 261.

LOT Polish Airlines offers a free of charge option to change the date of travel to all Passengers who purchased tickets for connections within the LOT Polish Airlines route network.

The offer applies to all individual tickets purchased before August 31, 2020, valid for travel from April 12 to December 31, 2020. You now have the opportunity to change your departure date for any date before December, 31 2020 completely free of charge (the return date counts), provided that the new flight is on the same route and in the same booking class.

LOT Full Policy

The EPA and its partners have compiled key resources for mental health professionals and the general public in a dedicated COVID-19 Resource Centre, which will be continually updated with research, recommendations, and country-specific guidelines as more information is made available. Click here to visit the EPA’s COVID-19 Resource Centre

If you have any questions, please use the contact form here.

Please select the most relevant subject for your query and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.