Supporting Strategies - Operational response to COVID-19

Operational response to COVID-19


ICAO ensured that safety and health measures at its headquarters remained up to date throughout 2021 to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19, while also ensuring the continued provision of high-quality services and support to Member States. The ICAO Crisis Management Team (CMT) continued to monitor the situation and provided situational updates and advice and resources on health and well-being through the CMT Bulletin.


In 2021, ICAO headquarters and Regional Offices continued to have a limited number of staff working on-site in accordance with the Business Continuity Plan, local health and safety directives, and recommendations of United Nations Country Teams.


In 2021, the re-opening of ICAO premises and easing of COVID-19 measures in many countries offered a positive indication of a return to normalcy. In November 2021, ICAO headquarters activated Tier 1 of the gradual return of personnel to ICAO premises, with no more than 25 per cent of personnel being permitted to return to the workplace. However, given the surge in COVID-19 cases due to Omicron variant in December 2021, the gradual return of staff to ICAO headquarters and Regional Offices was paused. Some Regional Offices permitted the return of critical staff only, while others reduced the number of on-site staff in accordance with the Business Continuity Plan.


The High-level Conference on COVID-19 was held from 12 to 22 October 2021 with full interpretation services. The Conference, which was attended by 1 784 representatives from 129 Member States and 38 invited international organizations, was ICAO’s first category-two event held in a fully virtual format.


The Secretariat continued to host virtual meetings of the ICAO Council and its Standing Committees with full interpretation services. The Secretariat also made necessary arrangements for its “hybrid/hub” solution, which would enable both physical and remote participation in meetings with full interpretation services and in a secure setting. On 12 November 2021, ICAO held an Informal Briefing of the Council on the State of the Industry, which was the first meeting of the Council held in a hybrid setting.

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