Statement on PLANCKS Competition finals & Covid-19
Monday 16 March 2020

You may have received an email on Thursday afternoon announcing the Institute of Physics’ decision to cancel events due to the risks associated with COVID-19 (also known as Coronavirus). This affects all group and branch events taking place across the UK & Ireland until the end of May 2020.

This includes the PLANCKS London Finals due to take place from 8-10 May. We are now contacting all participants who have registered to confirm that PLANCKS Finals have been cancelled, until further notice. We are currently in the process of consulting with the group committees and organisers and other relevant parties to see whether PLANCKS could be rescheduled should the opportunity to do so arises.

We believe this to be the appropriate decision given the current situation and forecast concerning COVID-19.  The health and wellbeing of attendees is our priority, along with playing our part in slowing the spread of the virus.

PLANCKS involves 3 days of socialising informally in lecture theatres, dormitories and restaurants. It also brings together teams from a large number of high risk countries. Given the travel and social distancing restrictions that will inevitably follow in the coming months the PLANCKS OC can’t say with any certainty if a rescheduled date can be found. However, the OC are of course committed to holding PLANCKS this year in London and making it as successful as ever.

We will be issuing refunds for all registration fees paid and will process the refunds as soon as possible. If your payment was made by credit card, the payment will be refunded to the card directly and you will receive an email from WorldPay once the refund has been processed. If payment was made by BACS or cheque, we will contact you to obtain your bank account details in order to raise a bank transfer.  Please note this may take a few days and we would appreciate your patience. 

We recognise that some of you may have booked travel to PLANCKS already and invite you try the following:

  1. If you have received funding from your department, please liaise with them to request a full refund from the airline. If a refund is impossible, please request a credit note or equivalent travel voucher from the airline that you can redeem for future travel.

  2. Please consult your travel insurance provider to see what compensation you are entitled to in the circumstances of the spread of Coronavirus globally.

  3. If you are unable to rearrange your flight, or receive compensation from your department, travel insurance provider, or receive a credit note from the airline, you can liaise with the IOP and discuss with them directly on how best to resolve the issue. Please try both of the first two options before writing to the IOP.

We will send updates by email regarding the competition as soon as possible. We will try to respond to your queries as quickly as possible but ask that you be patient while we consult with all relevant stakeholders.

The latest information on COVID-19 as it pertains to the IOP will be posted on the IOP’s social media channels and on the webpage




PLANCKS2020 Facebook


Further information will be sent to you in due course. In the meantime, I would like to thank you for your continued support. 

Yours sincerely,

PLANCKS 2020 London Finals OC