7th International Conference on Phthiraptera (ICP 7)
Guangzhou May 16-22, 2022

A message from the hosts of ICP7

Dear friends and colleagues,

We hope that everyone has been safe during the pandemic!

We have now started planning for ICP7, and hope to be able to host this conference at the Guangdong Institute for Zoology, Guangzhou, China in either 2022 or 2023. We will post updates on this conference here when we can, but of course the international virus situation makes it difficult to plan anything definite yet. Here, we summarize the information we have so far, and we will try to update this page regularly as things develop.

Timing. Together with the council of the International Society of Phthirapterists, we have developed the following time plan:

A: Hold the meeting in Guangzhou between 16–22 May 2022.
B: Hold the meeting in Guangzhou between 15–21 May 2023.
C: Hold a virtual meeting in the summer of 2023.

We will proceed with Plan A, but if the virus situation is not significantly improved by Midsummer 2021, we will switch to Plan B. If there is still no significant improvement and we deem it unsafe or unworkable to meet in person in May 2023, we will try to arrange a virtual meeting in the summer of 2023. As we may assume the virus situation will vary from country to country, we will in any case try to arrange to stream the conference live, including as many presentations as possible. In any case, we urge all potential participants to get vaccinated for the virus as soon as a safe, reliable vaccine becomes available in your area.

Climate. The end of May in Guangzhou is warm, but not exceedingly warm, and temperatures may be in the high 20s or low 30s. The humid season has not quite yet started, so we can expect some rain, but no typhoons.

Venue. The plan is to host the conference in a newly built building within the Institute. This building is not yet finished, but we are expected to move in there early next year. Hosting the conference there will mean much more flexibility if we need to reschedule or cancel due to the virus, and mean we will not risk losing huge deposits in case we cannot hold the conference as planned.

The Institute is situated on Haizhu Island in central Guangzhou. It is surrounded on most sides by the Sun Yat-Sen University, but is not part of the university. The University grounds include a large park, which is one of the best bird-watching spots in Guangzhou, and just north of the University is the Pearl River, where thousands of people go in the evenings to sing, dance, play, and just relax. Within easy reach by metro are several larger parks (Yuexiu, Luhu, Haizhu, etc.), as well as both the old city centre with Shamien Island (the only place in China westerners were allowed during the 18th and 19th centuries), and the new city center with Zhujiang New Town and Canton Tower (the second tallest tower in the world) wherevthe huge shopping malls are located. The extensive metro system can even take you up into the mountains north of the city for hiking!

There are many hotels in the area, including options in all price classes and standards. Closer to the conference, we will recommend one or a few hotels nearby, and arrange bus shuttles to and from the Institute from these hotels. For people who want to arrange other accommodation, there is a metro station just outside the Institute, and metro trains are cheap and leave about every 5 minutes (ticket machines and signs are all bilingual in Chinese and English throughout the metro system).

Busses will also be arranged for lunch and dinner. You are never far from a few dozen restaurants in Guangzhou, and cuisine from all parts of China is available in most districts. This includes everything from the mouth-numbing food of Sichuan to the mild seafood of Guangdong, and all imaginable combinations of noodles, rice, fish, beef, duck, chicken, and all kinds of vegetables. We will try to vary the food accordingly, to give everyone a wide experience of Chinese food styles (except perhaps the most spicy parts). Vegetarian options are usually a standard part of the menu, but true vegan options are rare.

Social activities. In Brno, we talked about having a daily social program for companions, and some kind of post-conference trip for those interested. We are still planning on arranging this, if there is enough interest. Some of the places we plan to include in the daily social program can be found here:

https://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/guangdong/guangzhou/museum.htm

For the post-conference tour, we are hoping to arrange a trip to the Guilin area, Guangxi Province.

Costs. As we are planning to host the conference at our own Institute, we hope this will help keeping costs down. We have not yet discussed registration fees for participants and companions, but will inform everyone in good time. As usual, social events may incur additional fees, as would participation in the post-conference tour.

We hope we will be able to defray many of these costs by applying for funding from the Guangdong Academy of Sciences (of which we are part), including travel expenses for some students or researchers from developing countries or countries that have been hit particularly bad by the virus.

Hotel rooms are available in more or less all price classes, and transport inside Guangzhou is generally very cheap. Food and drinks are also generally very cheap, depending on venue.

Registration and travel. We hope we can have a registration page up here by the end of the year. For citizens of almost every country, a visa is needed to visit China.

For our purposes, it seems an F type visa (non-commercial visit) is the most relevant, and we will provide signed and stamped invitation letters and other documentation necessary well in advance on request. In our experience, getting a visa to China is generally not a problem. Just let us known early what sort of documents you require, as this may also differ between countries.

It should take only four days to receive a visa, but apply early; in some countries express applications are available for an additional fee.
The cost of an F type visa is around US$140, but it differs between countries, and for citizens of some countries it is apparently free.

An F type visa is normally valid for 30 days only. If we end up arranging a post-conference tour, this should fit into the standard validity without problem, but if you wish to do further travel inside China in connection with the conference, you can apply for a longer-time stay in China using the same visa application.

Note that visas to China are generally not issued at embassies or consulates, but at special Chinese Visa Application Centres, which may be in entirely different places, or even in different cities. Check with the Chinese embassy or consulate in your country before traveling to the wrong place unnecessarily.

Currently, arrivals from abroad are subject to 14 days of quarantine in a hotel before they can enter China. Facemasks may be compulsory in some areas, such as the metro, the airport, and elsewhere, so remember to bring facemasks (we can provide some for people as well). Temperature scans and visiting registration by app is also in effect currently, but should not be a problem for the conference. This will hopefully change in time for the conference, in which case we will update all participants. We will update people on the requirements for quarantine, proof of vaccination or recent negative corona virus tests, and so on, closer to the conference.

Best wishes, and hope to see you all in 2022/3!

Sincerely,

The ICP7 Organizing Committee
Daniel Gustafsson & Fasheng Zou
Guangdong Institute of Zoology

To reach Daniel Gustaffson email: kotatsu “at” fripost “dot” org