05 Aug 2020:
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the La Silla Paranal Observatory has resulted in the loss of virtually all the observing time allocated in Period 105 (April-September 2020), and the timescale for a full resumption of science operations remains unclear at the moment due to the uncertain evolution of the pandemic. Following the Special Announcement issued on 24 July and the finalization of the time allocation process for Period 106 (October 2020-March 2021), ESO has completed an in-depth analysis of the detrimental effects that the loss of the observing time will have on the commitments made for Large Programmes and other high-priority programmes in both Periods 105 and 106, its foreseen impact on the science time expected to be available in the forthcoming Period 106, and the amount of time that will be required for technical work to be rescheduled once the observatory resumes normal operations. The conclusions of this analysis clearly show that the time available for new programmes in Period 107 will be extremely reduced with respect to previous periods. For this reason the ESO Director General, following discussions with the Council President, the Chair of the Scientific and Technical Committee, and the Chair of the Users Committee, has confirmed the decision to suspend the Call for Proposals for Period 107.