COVID-19: Palexpo turns to the future
In the current context of preventing the spread of Covid-19, health is our highest priority. That’s why Palexpo SA scrupulously adheres to the hygiene and behaviour rules set by the Federal Office of Public Health.
Following a risk analysis, a plan to protect against COVID-19 has been implemented and is regularly updated by Palexpo SA. Approved by the Direction Générale de la Santé de la République et du Canton de Genève (DGS), it is also inspired by the recommendations of the main international associations in the exhibition, business fair and conference sector, such as the UFI (Union des Foires Internationales), the IAEE (International Association of Exhibitions and Events) and the EMECA (European Major Exhibition Centres Association) of which Palexpo SA is a member.
Starting Jully 1sr for all exhibitions :
Admission check: density of 4m² per person
No admission check: density of 10m² per person
LIST OF MEASURES TAKEN DURING EVENTS
Before arriving at Palexpo, visitors and exhibitors are informed of the specific measures implemented for the exhibition concerned. This information can be found on the exhibition’s website, as well as the Palexpo website. People experiencing symptoms (high temperature, cough, cold, absence of sense of taste or smell) before arriving are asked not to participate in the event and to contact their doctor. Once on site, the correct behaviour and rules are communicated via a collection of pictograms present on all hand sanitiser gel distributors located at high-traffic areas.
In order to protect the health of all involved, the following prioritised measures (see SUVA model) have been implemented: - Structural - Technical - Operational - Personal
In accordance with the rules laid down by the authorities, the organisers have the right to ask participants to prove their COVID status in order to enter the event. The COVID statuses are as follows: -Vaccinated less than 6 months ago - Recovered less than 6 months ago -Tested with a PCR test less than 72 hours ago, or with an antigen test less than 24 hours ago.
In order to limit propagation of the virus via the ventilation/air conditioning systems, this will be mainly an open loop system. Furthermore, the exhibition halls at Palexpo are the highest in Europe (26.50m high below the roof) which has an impact on the density of the virus per m3 of air. Premises without ventilation, but with windows, must be ventilated naturally at least twice a day.
In addition to routine cleaning, a disinfection team is charged with continuously cleaning the premises and objects that come into intense contact with people (toilets, railings, handles, touch screens, etc.). Particular attention is paid to dining areas. Closed bins are provided at various locations for masks and tissues. The bins are emptied more frequently.
Walkways have been widened to allow for two-way traffic in order to prevent people from meeting head-on. Pictograms and reminder arrows are positioned on the floor. The number of entrance doors, as well as toilet facilities open during the event, is adapted to limit any queues at entry. At times of high traffic, visitors will be directed outside in order to prevent crowds.
Social distancing of 1.5m between individuals is implemented via signage on the floor for queues. It is also reinforced in all communication via pictograms. The numbers of people admitted is monitored. Exhibitors are informed of the maximum number of people that they can welcome to their stand at any one time.
The event organisers favour and promote online registration of participants as well as using the “print at home” facility for badges and access passes in order to prevent too much handling of tickets by a number of people, making them vectors of transmission of the virus. The entrance tickets are scanned by a member of staff without being touched.
The COVID prevention measures are now well known. They are also widely publicised on the website. Although the public has demonstrated its commitment to these measures since the start of the pandemic, some behaviour may arise that does not respect good practice. In order to remind people of the correct approach that will benefit everyone, a team of COVID ambassadors will patrol the event to ensure that everyone is doing their part. In the case of inappropriate behaviour and where the individual concerned does not wish to obey the rules, the organiser reserves the right to ask them to leave the premises.
There are numerous reminders to respect social distancing. However, as this cannot be strictly guaranteed, masks must be worn at all times except when consuming food or drinks at the refreshments areas (restaurants and bars). There are no exemptions to wearing a mask, even on presentation of a doctor’s note, as the collective interest prevails over that of the individual. Should visitors not have a mask on arrival, they can find them for sale at the cloakroom before the ticket check so that they are wearing one before entering the event itself. Hand sanitiser gel is available to visitors at the entrances, in the toilets and at strategic places throughout the event: crossroads of main walkways and places selling food and beverages.
Specific information is aimed at exhibitors with the following rules and recommendations: - Handshakes are prohibited - Limited number of people at the stand - Exhibitors are responsible for disinfecting surfaces and providing hand sanitiser gel for their employees - It is forbidden to consume food and drink standing up and the contact details of guests eating or drinking at the stand must be taken. Product tasting is considered to be consumption and follows the same rules - All objects handled by the public must be disinfected. If it is not possible to disinfect the object (if it is made of leather, for example), the person wishing to handle the item must disinfect their hands before touching it.
Individuals must be seated when eating or drinking, including aperitifs and coffee breaks. The number of people per table is limited. Catering staff are trained to refuse to serve any customers displaying signs of inebriation. Contact details are collected via a contact tracing app. Guests are informed of the increased risk of contracting the virus when masks are not worn. Their contact details are destroyed after 14 days. These measures also apply to banqueting. The concept of service must include ordering and serving at the table. Contactless payment is recommended. The surface temperature of hot dishes is checked to guarantee that it is above 70°C in order for the heat to kill the virus. Frequent surface cleaning of the counter, tills and areas of intense contact is in force.