Health and safety

GA4GH prioritises the health and safety of all attendees. Given the fast-changing nature of such concerns, these guidelines are subject to change.


Safety at GA4GH events

GA4GH proactively supports an engaged, welcoming, and safe community via the Code of Ethics and Community Conduct. By attending 11th Plenary and associated events, whether in person or virtually, you agree to adhere to this code. Report a harmful behaviour or potential violation of the code.


Safety in San Francisco

The InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel has provided information about safety for conference attendees in San Francisco

Like any major city, San Francisco has pickpocketing, theft, and other crimes, so please exercise caution. Safety conditions can differ between neighbourhoods. Many tour companies and tourist advice sites offer tips on areas visitors may want to avoid

Rather than navigating the city on foot or by public transport, you may consider taking Uber, Lyft, or a car service. The hotel also recommends Yellow Cab (+1 415 333 3333) or otherwise Flywheel (+1 415 970 1300).


Public health

By attending 11th Plenary and all associated events in person, you agree to follow these guidelines:

  • Do not attend GA4GH events if you develop cold- or flu-like symptoms, or test positive for COVID-19 or another communicable disease. If you fall sick while at Connect or Plenary, do not attend the rest of the meeting in person. Please contact event manager Lori Lombardi Ryan at llr [at] for assistance with next steps, or notify us anonymously.


  • You may switch to virtual participation in Connect or Plenary at any time, for any reason, by contacting operations [at]


  • Although COVID-19 is not as widespread as at the peak of the pandemic, its prevalence is on the upswing globally, including in the Bay Area. We encourage you to take steps to protect yourself and others. You are welcome, but not required, to use free masks, rapid COVID-19 tests, and hand sanitiser provided by GA4GH at the venue. This is consistent with current practices at other conferences.


  • Please respect others’ decisions, as attitudes, vulnerabilities, and healthcare access differ between cultures and individuals. Everyone should feel comfortable making choices that allow them to feel safe at Plenary.


Should you require documentation from a rapid or PCR COVID-19 test for your travel, appointments are available at these sites: