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Directives & recommendations for MICE Tourism and the Organization of Events to prevent the contagion of Covid-19

Protocols developed by the Institute of Touristic Quality for Covid 19 prevention 

 The objective of all this work is none other than to care for workers, visitors, and residents. The proposed measures are the minimum to be complied with inasmuch each venue knows its own facilities and services and must adapt these measures to their specific environment.

We are not facing a decree of compulsory fulfillment, but we are speaking of a catalogue of recommendations (what is decreed at the moment as compulsory, for example, is the use of masks in enclosed spaces).

What is important is that we are professionals and want to generate confidence among our clients. We all have in our hands, tools to halt the contagion. We now provide a summary of the regulations drawn up supported by the Institute of Touristic Quality. Albeit these are not compulsory rules, it is the responsibility of everybody to endorse them.

 

General requisites for the organiser:

  • Plan tasks and meetings guaranteeing a safe distance
  • Identify those workers susceptible to the risk of contagion to adapt preventive measures
  • Provide a contactless thermometer
  • Control the timetable to prevent the use of a specific area by various employees or disinfect the area after each use
  • Ensure the protection of the employees. For subcontracted services, it must be ensured that staff have all required equipment
  • Give clear information about the measures to be introduced. Train staff in the correct use of masks, gloves, and PPE, and also in the manner in which to dispose of them, ensuring the suppliers do so too. The same is applied to the attendance of persons with a disability
  • Request suppliers to provide their applied protocols
  • Ventilation of venues according to possibilitites but with a daily minimum.

 

Staff protection measures for personnel:

Staff must be aware of a contingency plan and their responsibilities. Specifically, staff must:

  • Avoid physical greetings and respect the safety distance wherever possible.
  • Pay attention to the updates on risks, that will determine the compulsory need to use PPE and length of time of use. At all times, current legislation on these issues must be complied with.
  • Throw away any personal residue and PPE into specially adapted containers.
  • Disinfect frequently all objects of personal use and avoid sharing work equipment.
  • Cleaning staff must wear the corresponding PPE and, as a mínimum, masks and gloves that can be safely thrown away. Mechanised bins will be provided. In cases of subcontracted services, the organization must ensure these procedures are complied with.

 

Informative measures in the design and when carrying out activities:

  • In the proposal, the client and other interested parties must be informed of the measures to be implemented and these must form part of the contractual agreement.  The organization must request:
  • Clients, participants and/or exhibitors to accept the prevention conditions and hygiene measures
  • Suppliers to provide contingency plans and a commitment that guarantees the fulfilment of the measures.

Communication between the supplier and the client will be held in various formats, always with accessibility.

 

During the activity:

  • Communicate recommendations and measures to participants.
  • Incorporate signage relating to safety distancing
  • Deal with incidents arising from the application of the protocol.
  • Determine the methods to inform and communicate before, during, and after the activity, avoiding the use of pamphlets.

 

Design of the MICE activity

The organiser must consider:

  • Venues and crowd capacity, also considering the option to hold the activity in the open air.
  • Requirements of the setup.
  • Services that can be offered.
  • Choice of supply companies, considering their protocol.
  • Informative measures.
  • Including commitments and responsibilities in the contracts.

 

Preparation and development of the activity

The organiser must supervise and ensure the preventive measures are complied with. In general, the organization managing the venue is responsible for determining the capacity, managing queues, keeping the safety distance between participants and staff, and all other defined protocols.

Set up/ Dismantling: Adopt distancing measures in meeting rooms, pavilions, and venues, subject to the defined capacity, increasing spaces between passageways and in areas of concentration of participants. Space must be cleaned and disinfected once the set up is completed.

Control of access points: Adapt by giving information on the defined access points with control of, and distribution of, the flow of people and vehicles, taking into consideration times of major movement.

Technical administration

  • Deal with administration and payments online. If not possible, encourage the use of cards or contactless, disinfecting the modem after each use.
  • Control queues by marking and tape along the floor respecting safety distance unless a mask is worn.
  • Inform participants in advance, by means of signage or other, of the access conditions and the requirement to comply with the protocol.
  • Provide hand gel at access points.
  • Adapt an area for registration, inscription, or administration ensuring safety distance.
  • Avoid printed material.
  • Clean and disinfect desks and tables daily and as frequently as possible.

Also, if applicable, attendance certificates should be sent digitally and promotional objects should be handed over individually, having been disinfected.

If the organization obtains contact details for traceability as required, it must be done within the legal framework of data protection.

Mechanisms to control crowds:

  • Implementation of systems to count people and control entrance and exit.
  • Identification of potentially crowd forming areas.
  • Implementation of timetables that allow for deep disinfection of the space.
  • Signage or staff to help control the flow of people.
  • Establish in activities that imply queues and possible crowds priority access for older people, pregnant women, or those with limited mobility or disabilities.

 Control of crowds at commercial fairs: Determine the capacity allowed by safety distancing, a maximum of 1 person every 3 m2 of surface area. The widening of passages, pavilions, and other spaces is recommended as well as a spatial distribution of the exhibition area to help the flow of people.

Crowd control at congresses, incentives, meetings, conventions, conferences and events: Determine the capacity allowed to maintain safety distancing, 50% of maximum capacity in auditoria or graded spaces with 1 person every 2 m2 of surface area in meeting rooms and clear spaces. It is also recommended to take pre-distribution measures regarding the space to be occupied.

Audiovisual services: The organization must coordinate with the audiovisual company to plan the set up, rehearsal and dismantling, minimising contact between operators. This must be done without participants and it is recommended that technical areas be cut off to maintain distancing.

Communications, speeches, presentation management: Encourage the prior delivery of audiovisual material for the speakers (by emails, cloud or computer channels). Safety distancing between speaker and participants must be guaranteed.

Use of lecterns is not advised and if totally necessary must be disinfected between each use. If a computer is required the keyboard must provide a protective cover for each speaker. If slide clickers are used, they must be disinfected after each use. Individual microphones are recommended or a set of sponges provided for each speaker.

Where applicable encourage the use of apps and smartphones for interactive voting, thus avoiding shared devices.

Simultaneous translating equipment: Where required, distance service is recommended, with disposable headphones or with ensured disinfection. If by distance is not possible a cabin per interpreter is to be adapted and disinfected when changing shifts.

Meeting rooms and networking areas: Spaces in which activities are held must be adapted to defined capacities and to protective measures of hygiene. When accommodating attendees safety distancing should be attempted and supervision provided to ensure it is respected. Entrance and exit doors must be controlled to prevent attendees having to open and close them.

When the distribution of the furnishings is required safety distancing must be guaranteed inasmuch the passage area is not to be obstructed and accessibility is not affected.

 Catering service: Control capacity, respecting safety distancing. Presentations in bulk will be avoided or any other system that does not avoid contact among participants.  Food in an individual format is recommended such as individual portions, like a packed lunch, packaged products, coffee in closed throwaway cups, buffets attended by staff…..

 Non centralised delivery points should be set up to avoid the concentration of people. Mechanised wastepaper baskets should be provided. Where possible, open-air services are recommended. In any case, the measures established in the corresponding regulations to reduce contagion in catering services must be observed.

Wardrobe: Safety distancing must be kept between the personnel and participant. Wardrobe tickets must be handed over without contact.

Toilets: Capacity for the use of toilets must be defined, communicated, and controlled. Toilets must provide paper towel dispensers or hand drying machines (preferably with sensors), disinfectant dispensers at a height of between 70cm and 120cm, and mechanised wastepaper baskets.

Parking and transport: If necessary, it is recommended that parking spaces be adapted with sufficient signage for the distribution of vehicles using auxiliary personnel.  Additionally, information on public parking places should be provided if there is not exclusive parking at the venue. If using buses the transport company must introduce specific measures to adapt to the regulations for the transport of passengers.

 

Cleaning and disinfecting requisites

Disposal of residue: Identify wastepaper baskets for masks, gloves, and PPE (red, for hospital residue or grey for the remainder). They must have a lid and be mechanical, to be placed in communal areas, toilets, and at the exit of the venue. Wastepaper baskets must be collected, keeping them closed. All personal hygiene material must be placed in the remainder section.

Cleaning and disinfecting Plan: The venue must adapt its cleaning plan taking into consideration:

  • Increase in frequency in areas of greatest contact.
  • Daily ventilation and with the greatest frequency possible.

Where necessary a recommendation guide will be provided for the contracted services of the exhibitors and organisers for their activities as well as for recommended construction materials and cleaning products.

If cleaning trolleys are used, these should be disinfected after each shift, using a register for all cleaning and disinfection carried out.

If the cleaning is subcontracted the organization must request from the company a plan adapted to the circumstances in question.

Cleaning and disinfectant products: List of anti-virus products: https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov-China/documentos/Listado_virucidas.pdf

Maintenance requirements: Provide a specific protocol for the maintenance staff that must include at least:

  • Protection with suitable conditions.
  • Once attendance is completed, throw away the PPE and wash hands.

The air conditioning system must be revised regularly and prevent re-circulation of air.

 

How to act in the case of an infected person or one at risk:

  • The symptoms are coughing, fever, and breathing difficulties mainly with muscular pain and headache in some cases.
  • 80% show slight symptoms and the incubation period is from 2-14 days. 50% show symptoms after 5 days.
  • If a worker has symptoms of the illness, they must wear a surgical mask, be removed from their job and contact made with the Service for the Prevention of Labour Risks to the telephone provided by the Autonomous Region or health centre and follow the instructions given. The company will be informed.

 

Safety distancing

Currently set at 1.5m. Please consult possible updates.

Correct communication between the client and customer service personnel must be guaranteed when physical separation elements are installed.

 

Use of masks  

The recommendation is to use disposable PPE that guarantees maximum protection with minimum disturbance. Correct use is fundamental as is removal and disposal.

The masks recommended for use in work environments are single-use ones manufactured in accordance with specific regulations and with limited use of up to 4 hours, or re-usable ones, washable at a temperature of over 60º after a similar period of use. Surgical masks can also be used (preferably for infected staff or those with symptoms). The use of these masks is recommended in enclosed areas in the presence of other people.

If you need to access areas where there are infected people use respiratory protection masks (type FFP2 or FFP3) except when there is no contact of less than one and a half metres.

 

Use of gloves  

Must be changed frequently depending on use and a disinfectant solution can be applied to extend their use.

Info-graphics of interest

How to use the mask correctly
How to use the gloves correctly
How to wash your hands correctly

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