Monday 10 August, 2020

Event producers provided with new COVID-19 guidelines

Crowded events with no social distancing are a thing of the past (FILE)

Crowded events with no social distancing are a thing of the past (FILE)

Event producers across the entertainment industry in Barbados now have a comprehensive set of COVID-19 protocols to guide them.

The newly released document is aimed at heightening awareness as it relates to health and safety practices post-COVID-19. It is hoped that the protocols will result in increased compliance and a reduction in risky behaviours.

Included in the guidelines are practices to outline protocols across six main areas as it relates to the hosting of events. These are subdivided under anticipation, arrival, atmosphere, activity, amenities and appetite.

Anticipation

The guidelines which fall under this heading are specifically geared towards pre-event communication. This messaging is to be included on tickets, pre-event advertising and promotion using online platforms and signage.

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To aid contact tracing if necessary, the use of QR code technology and other data capturing methods is suggested. Patron information may also be collected manually but in both instances, validation must be provided by an identification card. Data captured should include the patron’s name, address and telephone number. Information on QR code registration is provided in the document.

Arrival

These are activities involved in venue ingress of patrons, vendors, staff and support service personnel accessing the venue at all points of entry.

The usual temperature checks and hand sanitization remains standard with all patrons required to wear face masks or coverings. Three feet distances are to be maintained while patrons queue, with the provision of separate lines for ticket holders and paying patrons.

All information collected for the purpose of contact tracing should be kept by the promoter for no less than 30 days.

Provision has been made for persons arriving in groups with the rationale given that those who share transportation and are being relatively close on a frequent basis may already know and trust each other.  

Atmosphere

This speaks to the overall layout at the event and the inclusion of hand hygiene activities that should be in place at all venues.

All venues are required to display appropriate signage promoting the established health protocols.

Where live entertainment is provided, audiences should be at least 6 ft from the entertainer while backstage access is to be restricted.

Specific areas are to be designated for groups and for individuals with 25 ft 2 per indvidual and 10 ft 2 for persons in groups. Groups should be spaced at least 6 ft apart with their designations marked and promoters are to encourage patrons to remain in their groups.

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Amenities

This refers to the planning for the provision of toilets, VIP sections and any value-added components during the event.

A maintenance schedule for the toilet and hand washing stations should be set up to ensure that facilities are cleaned and supplies replenished as needed. High touch surfaces such as door knobs, light switches, toilet handles, faucets and taps are to be frequently cleaned and disinfected.

All giveaways, merchandise and other memorabilia items are to be single packaged and sanitised prior to distribution.

Activity

This refers to the on and off-stage performance including artistic performances.

It is suggested that band members remain in their designated areas and dancers not mingle with patrons.

Microphones are to be sanitized between performers and MCs should have separate ones.

Backstage technical teams are to don personal protective equipment (PPE) and any props should be sanitized before and after use.

Appetite

This covers the food and beverage service occurring at events including vending, concessions and catering services for staff and patrons. Specifics may be found in the full document on the Government Information Services website.

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