PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES IN PLACE AT THE HYDRO 2022 CONGRESS CENTRE

Although vaccination programmes have been progressing well, and the risk of serious illness from the COVID-19 virus is declining, we clearly need to prevent even mild cases of the illness continuing to spread. Aqua-Media therefore fully supports various measures which are already in place at the congress centre (Palais de la Musique et des Congrès). Whether or not they seem necessary by late April, these measures seem prudent in view of the uncertainties and changing situations which have arisen since the pandemic began. Since 30 June this year, when restrictions began to ease in France, events for 1000+ delegates have been allowed at the congress centre, with certain precautions in place, as set out below, and several major events have already taken place. The requirements have been, and at present remain, as follows:

GENERAL MEASURES FOR ENHANCED SAFETY

• ‘Health passes’ (passes sanitaires) for EU delegates must be presented by delegates/guests. For those without these passes, or any equivalent certification which may be acceptable to the French authorities by April, PCR tests will be obligatory each day, in a purpose-built laboratory in the grounds of the Congress Centre. This will be a quick and easy process, with results available within 15 minutes. Assuming the result is negative, delegates will be issued with a coloured wrist band, and this will need to be shown to gain access to the centre. The tests will be repeated each day, with a wristband of a different colour being issued each day, to demonstrate that it is new.

• All staff at the centre wear masks, and when walking around the centre this will also be recommended to delegates, and the organizers will supply them to all participants.

• Increased cleaning of all facilities takes place. The Centre was recently awarded ‘Safe & Clean’ certification by the well recognized French organization APAVE.

• Ventilation around the centre has been increased.

• Plexiglass screens have been installed in some strategic locations, and hand gel is available at the entrances to each room/space.

• Guidelines and reminders about distancing and hygiene appear on noticeboards throughout the centre.

• It will be fully understood by all that participants may wish to avoid hand-shaking, and various alternative forms of greeting can certainly be devised!

MEETING ROOMS

• Regardless of whether or not social distancing will be necessary in late April, Aqua-Media has taken the precaution of hiring extra space for both the conference sessions and the exhibition, and it will be possible to ensure spacing between seats which are occupied.

• As mentioned above, rooms will be cleaned frequently, and well ventilated, with hand gel available at the entrances.

CATERING AND SOCIAL EVENTS

• All the HYDRO 2022 social events are planned in spacious areas, so there will be no crowding. Measures are also in place to ensure thatqueues and  crowds will not be formed at the entrances to the events.

• According to the current rules, when moving around the venue, and in and out of the social events, masks should be worn.

• All meals need to be seated this year, as buffets are  not permitted, and delegates will be served at tables, with individual plates (to avoid shared dishes). Masks can be removed as soon as delegates are seated. A maximum of six will be seated at each table.

EXHIBITION HALL

• Stands which face each other will have adequate space between them. The sides of the stands already form form barriers.

• If deemed necessary in April, a one-way system will be implemented for those walking around the exhibition.

• Coffee break times will be staggered, to minimise the number in the exhibition areas at the same time.

Finally, we sincerely hope the risk of catching COVID will be minimal by April,  especially with

vaccination programmes well under way, and the above measures in place. But these rules and guidelines will in any case be highly valuable in preventing the spread of mild ailments, like the common cold, so we are hoping for an extremely healthy HYDRO 2022 in Strasbourg.

HYDRO 2022

  • 25-27 April 2022
  • Palais de la Musique et des Congrès ~ Strasbourg, France
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