24 March, 2020

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 our staff and colleagues who use our buildings/facilities
  • keep Antarctica COVID-19 free
  • prepare for potential disruption to operations in Antarctica, the Arctic, Cambridge and other locations where our 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:

Our Cambridge Office is closed following Government advice

  • Most members of staff are working from home and have excellent access to emails and video conferencing
  • Planned public engagement events (including the Cambridge Science Festival event scheduled for 21 March) are postponed for the foreseeable future
  • 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

To find out which events are affected please check our events page here: https://www.bas.ac.uk/our-events/

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 well-being of our staff and colleagues who work with us is a top priority for BAS.  Supported by the BAS Medical Unit we have measures to monitor health and safety at stations and on our 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.

Families who have questions about travel home arrangements can contact the BAS Human Resources Team by email or phone 07711018239.

BAS Cambridge

  • Most staff are working from home until further notice. For a very small number of people working on site additional hygiene measures and guidance on prevention of the spread or COVID-19 are in place.
  • All business travel is postponed. Video conferencing facilities will enable meetings to continue.

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

To find out more about Coronavirus visit NHS UK