“Hemus 2020” Organizing Committee Statement
Subject: COVID-19 Security Protocol and Rules to be implemented prior to and during the Exhibition and its Accompanying Events.
In March and April 2020 due to the COVID-19 situation in Bulgaria the National Authorities declared “State of Emergency” and in order to reduce the negative consequences of the disease imposed number of restrictive measure such as: social meetings ban, wearing of personal protective materials, closing of cultural events in theaters, cinemas, galleries ets., closing of public and touristic places, introduction of “home office” practices in the government and business domain, restrictions on business and touristic travels, closing of the national borders, imposing of quarantine etc. Among all these measures was also the decision of the Government to postpone the 14-th Jubilee Edition - “Hemus 2020” form the end of May to 30-th September – 3-rd October 2020.
Due to the measures taken nationally and Europe wide the COVID-19 situation had improved significantly in May and June which allowed the national authorities to start easing the restrictions on a ‘case by case’ and a ‘step by step’ basis and in accordance with the current developments. More details and daily updates about the COVID-19 situation in Bulgaria could be found at: https://coronavirus.bg/bg
In particular, a Minister’s of Healthcare Order allows conducting of exhibitions after 30th May 2020, observing and implementing security measures during the Event if necessary, in order to protect all exhibition stakeholders.
Following the above, “Hemus 2020” Organizing Committee together with the Management of the International Fair Plovdiv, member of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, envisage and are will implement the COVID-19 Security Protocol, recommended by the Association, pro rata with the current situation and the National Government directions.
The Protocol includes following groups of Rules to be implemented prior to and during the Exhibition and its Accompanying Events.
1. Ensuring personnel and personal safety:
- Use personal prevention materials;
- Use personal disinfection fluids.
2. Enabling physical distance:
- Allow spacious distance between booths and aisles for circulation. Establish a route for visiting stands and booths;
- Introduce barriers and floor marks to indicate space regulations for all queues and public spaces (e.g. entrance halls, restaurants, catering outlets and toilets);
- Manage conference-style layout for side events to allow physical distancing.
3. Increasing health and safety measures:
- Enable access control and conduct health screening (e.g. unified temperature monitoring);
- Work with guidelines dealing with/denying entry to participants who fail health screening test (e.g. set up isolation areas; inform the local disease control department);
- Manage cleaning, sanitation and disinfection regimes of commonly used areas;
- Provide sanitizing and handwashing stations;
- Enable no-contact policy (e.g. avoid shaking hands and consider alternative greetings; encourage contactless payment; plan dedicated space for exhibitor and visitor to interact safely);
- Ventilate venues/exhibition halls and other facilities to have air-conditioning and air-filtering processes;
- Adapt frequency of waste disposal;
- Enable exhibitors to have enhanced cleaning and disinfection regimes for booths, exhibits and promotional materials (e.g. suggest that publicity materials be electronic).
4. Implementing crowd control:
- Attendee flow management (e.g. monitor access routes, queuing space and entrances; separate different areas of the event and control access);
- Adapt registration process and manage set-up to reduce contact onsite (e.g. encourage online registration wherever possible; print badges at home);
- Manage number of stakeholders on exhibition site (e.g. rationalize/simplify raw space/space-only stand designs and construction methods to reduce time required to build and dismantle; allow longer timeframe to set up and dismantle);
- Manage number of attendees on the exhibition site (e.g. limit number based on area in gross square meters of the venue/hall, as proposed by exhibition safety managers; assign tickets to designated time slots such as days and hours);
- Manage catering offer to allow physical distancing and encourage additional hygiene measures (e.g. distancing tables and limiting capacities inside restaurant areas; avoid buffet-style service stations; offer pre-packed food).
5. Encourage and enforce measures:
- Display measures and cleaning regimes accessible for everyone;
- Work in legal framework that clearly defines duties and responsibilities across all stakeholders involved;
- Establish and maintain direct communication with local authorities;
- Set up Medical Service Points of the Military Hospital (e.g. medical support, patient handling, treatment and clinical support, patient transport and treatment, clinical waste management);
- Manage training on epidemic prevention (e.g. master the skills of disinfectant use, cleaning public places and emergency disposal);
- Verify registration details on-site and, where appropriate, manage process to inform health authorities;
- Monitor new sources of information and establish processes to act accordingly (e.g. designate a team to follow local news, podcasts and practice rumor controls; establish mechanisms for epidemic prevention and control);
- Manage procedure to address on-site concerns and answer questions from all attendees (e.g. hotline);
- Monitor real-time crowd movements and establish processes to act accordingly (e.g. use technology to track in-show attendees; wristbands; Mobile Apps heat maps).