Cologne: 26.–29.10.2021 #aquanale

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Questions and answears regarding the corona pandemic and making a trade fair

FAQs: frequently asked questions

1. Technology, hygiene and safety arrangements throughout the trade fair grounds

What ventilation technology does Koelnmesse use in the halls?

All of Koelnmesse’s exhibition halls are equipped with modern ventilation systems. The supply air (fresh outdoor air) is routed into a duct system that is kept separate from the exhaust air. Used air is discharged outside through separate ducts, thereby preventing aerosols from spreading through our ventilation systems.

Are contactless payments accepted everywhere on the trade fair grounds?

Contactless payments are accepted at all tills and in all shops. Contactless payments using the relevant cards can also be made in all of Koelnmesse’s fixed catering areas.

Can masks and disinfectant be purchased at the trade fair grounds? If yes, where?

Face masks must be worn to enter the trade fair ground. Hostesses will provide face masks at entrance areas to visitors and exhibitors that do not have their own to hand.

Additional masks and disinfectant products are available for purchase in our Koelnmesse shops on the trade fair ground.

However, we recommend that all exhibitors make arrangements for their own stock of face masks for their stand.

Control of distancing at the trade fair stand: Does non-compliance lead to stand closure?

Trade fair events in the era of the coronavirus are subject to the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance. The ordinance requires ensuring that minimum distancing can be maintained on the grounds and at the exhibition stands. The compliance obligation is the organiser’s responsibility, and at the trade fair stand it is also the responsibility of the stand operator. Official inspections may be conducted.

If trade fair stands become overcrowded, Koelnmesse will ask the respective stand operator to limit or regulate the number of people at the stand accordingly. In the event of non-compliance in spite of consultation and prompting, further measures may be required and may extend to closure of the trade fair stand.

Does everyone require a form of personal ID (identity card)?

Yes, all exhibitors, visitors, service providers, Koelnmesse employees and other partners receive a personalised ticket/access ID as part of the registration process.

In principle, all individuals are already obliged to also carry a form of personal identification (ID card, passport). This may be checked to ensure that the person named on the ticket is granted entry.

Are transparent visors permitted instead of masks?

The Coronavirus Protection Ordinance imposes a general obligation to wear mouth-nose protection at trade fairs. Mouth-nose protection can be removed by seated individuals (e.g. at the trade fair stand, in food-service areas or outdoors, provided that minimum distancing is observed).

According to the latest medical findings, full or partial face shields are not a substitute for mouth-nose protection, as the shields only stop aerosols to a limited extent. This is why transparent visors are permissible only in verified individual cases (e.g. if a wearer has demonstrable health problems with mouth-nose protection or for product presentations requiring regular removal and putting-on of mouth-nose protection).

Is there a medical team that can be called upon to take care of anyone who develops symptoms?

We have a qualified medical team on site during trade fairs. They are also able to conduct (rapid) COVID-19 testing.

What happens if a person presents symptoms during the trade fair period (incl. set-up and dismantling)?

Koelnmesse has instituted a scenario that will be activated in the event of disease symptoms or even a confirmed case of COVID-19.

A key part of this scenario requires the individual to report to qualified medical service on the trade fair grounds at the exhibition centre and, if necessary, to take a (rapid) test for the coronavirus. Contact-tracing measures already in place will be activated if the test is positive.

In principle, it should also be noted that no one may enter the trade fair grounds presenting relevant symptoms of illness (particularly cold symptoms, diarrhoea, lack of a sense of taste).

2. Entry, COVID-19 testing

Is it possible to get a COVID-19 test on site?

Koelnmesse has not set up a walk-in test centre. However, it does intend to facilitate rapid COVID-19 testing on site in case a person on the grounds falls ill or an infection is suspected.

Do visitors/exhibitors have their temperature checked on entry?

No, Koelnmesse does not take the temperature of exhibitors or visitors on entry. In line with the general provisions of the CoronaSchVO, anybody suffering from any of the relevant symptoms (especially cold symptoms, diarrhoeal diseases and loss of taste) are forbidden from entering the trade fair ground. This is made clear at the entrances and as part of the online ticketing process.

Koelnmesse plans the possibility of corona rapid tests on the trade fair grounds. Who will be tested and who will bear the costs?

At the moment we are investigating, for the trade fairs from springtime onwards at Koelnmesse site, how corona rapid tests can be offered as a service facility or for suspected cases. The initial aim is to test suspected cases directly on site (presumably free of charge). Furthermore, it is being examined whether a corona rapid test can also be offered as a service, for example if a return flight to the home country takes place after the trade fair. For this purpose, we will examine the associated costs. In the case of corona rapid tests, these would in any case be significantly lower than the cost of a complex PCR test.

Is the Coronavirus Protection Regulation (Corona-Schutzverordnung) also available in English to forward to foreign customers?

Unfortunately, the Coronavirus Protection Regulation of North Rhine-Westphalia is only available in German.

3.1 Trade fair stand - stand construction/hall planning

Are meeting rooms permitted within exhibitor stands, and, if so, what are the conditions that apply?

Meeting rooms may be set up.

In terms of seating arrangements, it must be ensured that either general distancing rules (1.5 m) are observed when sitting or that different seating groups are created. Alternatively, shields (e.g. privacy screens on tables or screens between tables) can be used if distances are reduced (dimensions: above head height when sitting or standing at bistro tables).

If they are enclosed at the sides, meeting rooms may not be closed at the top. This ensures adequate ventilation.

3.2 Trade fair stands - social distancing requirements/number of people at stands

How many persons per square metre are permitted at a stand?

The number of persons allowed depends on the size and individual layout of the trade fair stand. Consequently, no blanket statements can be made in this regard; the number of persons allowed is essentially a function of the freely accessible stand area (stand view from above) and the number of seats available for additional seats/meeting areas.

As a first approach, the maximum number of persons can be estimated to be 1 person per 4 sqm of freely accessible stand area. Any available seating (e.g. at meeting tables) can be factored into this. This flat-rate approach can be higher in individual cases, however, if supplementary measures are taken (e.g. screens between seats).

Please note that suitable measures must be in place to govern the maximum number of people at the stand.

What minimum distances have to be maintained at stands?

Standard social distancing requirements apply at stands. Accordingly, it must be ensured that people can maintain a distance of at least 1.5 m from each other.

These required distances may be reduced by taking additional measures (e.g. using screens of a sufficient height and width, such as plexiglass shields, in seating areas).

3.3 Trade fair stands - registration/traceability

Is it necessary to keep a record of visitors to a stand?

Registration of visitors to trade fair stands is required by law.

The exhibitor itself is responsible for ensuring that persons at its stand are traceable. Koelnmesse assists the exhibitor by providing an active system for coronavirus tracing within the trade fair app.

How are stand visitors registered?

As an exhibitor, you will be provided with a ‘Corona Scan’ function via the trade fair app for use in registering visitors to your stand. This app must be used to register entries to and exits from the trade fair stand.

3.4 Trade fair stands - hygiene, disinfection, cleaning

Can business cards still be exchanged?

There is nothing preventing the exchange of business cards, as only two people are involved. This is acceptable as long as stand personnel ensure the necessary hand hygiene (e.g. by washing their hands regularly) and visitors are offered hand sanitiser at the stand.

Do masks have to be worn at all times at the stand?

In the interest of protecting all trade fair attendees, all persons present at trade fairs are required to wear mouth-nose-protection. Mouth-nose protection can be removed when seated (e.g. at trade fair stands or in the food-service area) or when on the grounds outdoors, as long as distancing rules that apply to different persons (and groups) who have not come together.

At the entrance areas, our hostesses will provide mouth-nose protection to any visitors and exhibitors who have not brought their own protection along with them.

Other items (including disinfectants) are available for purchase from our Koelnmesse shops located on the trade fair grounds.

However, we recommend all exhibitors to equip themselves with these items at the exhibition stand on their own.

What are the guidelines for stand construction and business contacts at the stands?

Information and guidelines on stand construction and business contacts at the stands can be found in this PDF:

Show Safe - Koelnmesse restart (.pdf)

3.5 Trade fair stands - catering, food, drinks

Can sweets be distributed to visitors? Can they also be displayed at stands? Do they have to be individually wrapped?

Samples with and without packaging are permitted. Self-service (e.g. from a tray with several offerings) is not permitted, even for sweets that are wrapped.