As we have stated before, we have been, as you certainly have too, closely monitoring the development of the corona virus epidemy. Although we were hoping and expecting so far that the conference would take place as planned, and although we still consider the risk of an infection extremely low, the recommendations from the university TU Darmstadt and from the German Research Foundation DFG have changed by now, and advise to cancel/postpone conferences and similar events at this moment.
In addition to the very low risk of infection, the risk that conference participants might be forced to stay in isolation after returning from the conference could be more real.
All in all, in the current situation it seems best to be cautious (or maybe overcautious) and to cancel our conference at this moment.
We apologize for making this decision on such short notice. It was unclear to us how things would develop, and we decided to stay optimistic as long as possible.
We hope that cancelling now will actually just be postponing the conference to a later date. We will discuss this and make new plans without any hurry, and will then let you know.
We still have to sort out how we can deal with possible cancellation fees. For the hotel reservations made by us, we will of course cover the cancellation fee. If you made a hotel reservation yourself, and incur a cancellation fee which you cannot put on a grant or cover in a similar way, please let us know. Similarly if we offered a contribution to your travel expenses, and you now have to pay a cancellation fee. We will try our best to find a reasonable solution, but at this moment we cannot make any promises.
Also, if the cancellation causes any other problems that we might help you with (say if you planned to be in Darmstadt in between other visits and still need accommodation), please let us know.
We hope to see you at some other occasion.