Pulm, suvi 2018. Photo: Gerry Sulp
Sweet Spot Festival 2018. Organizer: Sweet Spot Music Festival.
Latitude59 2019 avamine. Organizer: Latitude59. Foto: Ahto Sooaru.

What does the ‘COVID-19 Safe’ label indicate?

A sticker on the window and a label on the service provider’s website mean that the service provider has acceded to the Goodwill Agreement of Tallinn’s tourism service providers. By joining the Goodwill Agreement, the service provider declares that they act in compliance with the requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that they are committed to providing a safe environment for both their customers and employees. Information: https://www.visittallinn.ee/est/k%C3%BClastaja/planeeri/hea-teada/tarbijam%C3%A4rgis-%22siin-on-turvaline%22

 

COVID-19 PREVENTION MEASURES AT TALLINN CREATIVE HUB (TCH)/KULTUURIKATEL

“WE CARE ABOUT OUR VISITORS!”

  • ORGANISERS OF EVENTS TAKING PLACE AT THE TALLINN CREATIVE HUB (TCH)/KULTUURIKATEL AND THE TCH/KULTUURIKATEL CONFIRM THAT THE EVENTS TAKING PLACE HERE FOLLOW MEASURES TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.
  • AS A RESULT OF FOLLOW-UP, PARTICIPATION IN EVENTS TAKING PLACE AT THE TCH/KULTUURIKATEL IS SAFE FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS.

We have mapped out the main health and safety measures, activities and guidelines that the event organiser (together with the venue and other partners) should pay attention to. The guidelines are suitable for both local and international events. They are based on the recommendations and requirements established by the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Estonian Health Board and also draw on best international practice. Use these guidelines as a basis for establishing your own health and safety rules and reminders for visitors.

The full versions of the legal acts issued by the Government of the Republic are available at riigiteataja.ee and kriis.ee. All important general guidelines (cleaning, catering, action to be taken in the case of illness in the workplace, etc.) can be found on the Health Board website at www.terviseamet.ee/et/COVID-19-trukised.

If you have any questions, contact the local government, the Health Board or the TCH/Kultuurikatel.

From August 26, all events in Estonia are required to check visitors’ infection safety – to ensure all attendees have been fully vaccinated, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19 within 6 months. In such cases, there may be up to 6,000 attendees indoors and up to 12,000 outdoors.

 

GUIDELINES AND RECOMMENDATIONS

WEARING MASKS AT EVENTS

Since June 2, 2021, protective face masks are not required by law in public indoor spaces. It is still advisable to wear protective masks at public events that take place indoors.

 

  • This obligation does not apply to children under the age of 12 or if the wearing of a mask is not possible for health reasons, due to special needs or the nature of the work or activity, or for other overriding reasons.
  • If there is no mask mandate in place at the given time, the venue may still require that masks be worn during an event in the interests of the safety of all visitors. This requirement depends on the extent of the spread of COVID-19 at the time.
  • Let your attendees know in advance whether masks will be mandatory at your event.

 

Also plan how mask-wearing will be enforced – whether this will be done by event security, volunteers or members of the organising team.

 

  • The organiser can distribute masks themselves, tell participants to bring masks with them or offer the opportunity to purchase a mask on the spot. Reusable (including personalised and branded) masks can also be used.
  • Think ahead about how to hand out masks safely, i.e. in a contact-free manner.
  • The venue/TCH guarantees the use of masks.

 

DISTANCING AND MINIMISING THE NEED FOR PHYSICAL CONTACT

 

When setting the maximum number of participants, abide by the government restrictions in force on event attendance and group size.

 

  • Remember that limits can change at short notice, so come up with contingency plans: have a plan in place for switching to a hybrid event or fully virtual event in case a conventional event cannot be held. This will allow you to change gears smoothly if you need to.
  • In order to reduce the risk of infection, the restrictions imposed by the government must be implemented so as to ensure the diffusion of all participants at all available entrances and exits, at events, in catering and recreation areas, at cloakrooms, in bathrooms, etc.
  • Since theatre spaces are multifunctional, i.e. there is mostly no stationary location, we ask event organisers to consider in advance the spatial programme of the event and the movement routes of participants. Map out the places where there may be gathering points (cloakroom, catering stations, registration desks, bathrooms, etc.) and figure out how to avoid large gatherings (e.g. by extending intermissions).
  • We recommend using all possible entrances that allow for the dispersal of the audience (e.g. using both the stairs and doors when entering the Black Box Hall).
  • If there are exhibition areas, place the exhibitors’ booths as far apart as possible to avoid an excessive concentration of visitors.
  • Set aside a separate room in which anyone displaying symptoms can be isolated, if necessary.

 

Assign specific numbered or personalised seating to participants so that everyone can be identified later if anyone falls ill.

 

  • Make use of TV screens, signage, floor markings and post and rope barriers to direct visitors to where they need to go.
  • The event organiser must coordinate the spatial programme and the movement of the audience with the venue/TCH staff.

 

Make access control as contact-free as possible, with no queuing and allowing people to maintain a safe distance.

 

  • If possible, use digital solutions to register participants. If you require their signatures, make sure they are collected in a safe way. Avoid handing out information or promotional freebies: instead, upload programmes and presentations to the Internet, use existing digital event apps or develop your own mobile app for the event, use electronic displays or closed-circuit radio or place materials on the chairs in the main auditorium beforehand.
  • The venue’s/TCH’s registration desks feature Plexiglas barriers.
  • Minimise the use of cash.
  • Instead of passing a microphone from one person to another, have the participants use apps to ask questions. This also provides everyone with an equal opportunity to participate in the discussion via virtual channels.
  • If you plan to provide a cloakroom service, think through how this will work, including whether it will be staffed or self-service. If possible, plan for 50% more hooks/pegs so that the clothes are spaced further apart. The cloakroom attendant must wear protective gloves and a mask and wash or disinfect their hands regularly.
  • The venue/TCH will ensure that there is hand sanitiser in the cloakroom. Reusable cloakroom numbers are disinfected after every use.

 

ENSURING THE SAFETY OF THE AUDIENCE

 

The event organiser should plan on having enough security and event staff present to ensure that they can enforce the requirements in the guidelines given the nature of the event and the number of visitors.

 

  • The event organiser should also make sure that the security and event staff know the correct use of basic protective equipment (glasses, masks and gloves).

 

DISINFECTANTS

 

The venue/TCH ensures that disinfectants are available (unless otherwise agreed) and that the frequency of use of disinfectants is directly related to their availability by entrances, stairs and lifts and anywhere food is served.

 

  • The event organiser must ensure that the participants follow the requirements for the use of hand sanitiser.
  • All equipment in common use – whether it be a microphone, a shared computer or a digital projector remote control – must be disinfected after each use. Plan on having twice as many items (such as microphones and projector remote controls) to avoid cross-use.

 

CLEANING OF ROOMS AND SURFACES

 

Indoor areas must be cleaned daily before and after an event or other gathering, and in the case of longer events, also after breaks.

 

  • The venue/TCH will clean and disinfect all surfaces in contact with visitors (including service areas) more often than usual. Particular attention must be paid to surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, such as tables, countertops, service counters, railings, chairs, light switches, door handles, locks, knobs, remotes, taps, toilet flush buttons/handles, cloakroom numbers, headsets, microphones and tablets.
  • The venue/TCH has a sufficient number of foot-operated bins for discarding face masks. These are marked accordingly.

 

VENTILATION AND AIRING OF ROOMS

 

The venue/TCH has a well-functioning and fully compliant air exchange/ventilation system.

 

  • The air exchange/ventilation system operates at the maximum level while the building is in use and for at least two hours before and after people have been in the building.
  • Introduce longer breaks (a minimum of 30 min.) between stage sessions. During the breaks, people should be directed to leave the auditorium so that it can be aired – even if the normal ventilation systems are functional.

 

ORGANISING TEAM AND SERVICE STAFF

 

The venue/TCH ensures that the organising team and service staff are aware of and follow the valid COVID-19 prevention guidelines in their everyday work.

 

  • The venue/TCH has trained its team on measures for the prevention of COVID-19 and has issued clear instructions on what action to take in an emergency.
  • There are COVID-19 prevention specialists who monitor compliance with requirements.
  • The event organiser is also responsible for ensuring that the organising team and service staff are aware of and follow the valid COVID-19 prevention guidelines in their everyday work. Train the organising team on measures for the prevention of COVID-19 and give clear instructions on what action to take in an emergency. Designate one of the members of the organising team as the COVID-19 prevention specialist who will monitor compliance with the requirements.
  • The event organiser must map potential risks, analyse hazards and think about how to mitigate these risks. Also map out the event risks in cooperation with the venue and agree on an action and logistics plan should any risks materialise. The risks and logistics plan must be coordinated by e-mail with the staff of the venue/TCH.
  • The organising team and service staff must wear personal protective equipment (face masks, face shields, gloves, etc.) and observe hygiene and safety requirements throughout the event.
  • The event organiser must be sure that the organising team and their staff have a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment and is responsible for ensuring that service providers organised by the event organiser are informed that they must provide personal protective equipment to their staff (catering service, technical service provider, etc.).
  • The event organiser must obtain contact information (phone number and e-mail address) for each member of the organising team (including volunteers) and service staff so that they can be contacted quickly if necessary. The contact details may be needed if government restrictions change at short notice or someone falls ill and contact tracing needs to be conducted.

 

SPEAKERS AND OTHER ATTENDEES

 

  • Attendees and speakers from foreign countries are subject to the same requirements as anyone else arriving in Estonia: a person can participate if they 1) have no symptoms of illness and 2) have completed the necessary period of self-isolation or arrived from a country that was exempt at the time of entry. Those certified by a physician as having recovered from COVID-19 less than six months previously and those who completed their full course of vaccinations less than six months previously are likewise exempt from the 10-day self-isolation requirement (whether they are coming from within or outside of Europe).
  • Bear in mind that conference speakers are vulnerable to different risks, such as falling ill, the need for unexpected self-isolation and, in the case of foreign participants, changes in travel restrictions. Set up the necessary technical solutions so that the speakers can speak or participate in panel discussions via a video bridge, or record keynote presentations in advance.

 

PARTICIPANTS AND COMMUNICATION

 

a) Advance registration and notification of participants

 

  • Participants should be registered, if possible, and electronic advance registration is the preferred way of arranging this. Collect the contact information (phone number and e-mail address) of each participant so that they can be contacted quickly if necessary. Their contact details may be needed if the country’s restrictions change at short notice or someone falls ill during the event and contact tracing needs to be conducted.
  • Outline the rules for participating in the event (view the Reminders for Attendees in the annex) and COVID-19 prevention measures in advance via your communication channels (event website, social media, press releases, etc.) and in pre-event communication with the participants. Anyone who is ill, feels poorly, is in a high-risk group, has come into contact with a person who has tested positive to COVID-19 or has just arrived from abroad and is subject to restrictions in this regard should be asked not to participate. If your event requires a mask or participants will have their temperature taken at the entrance, let the participants know about this in advance.
  • Inform participants in advance of the conditions for modifying or cancelling their registration due to the spread of COVID-19. Share information about making changes to participation/passes, risk-free changes to the participation format (e.g. virtual participation instead of in-person participation), finding a last-minute substitute, cancelling (at no extra cost) or buying back their event pass.
  • Give participants and speakers instructions on distancing and responsible conduct at the venue. Advise participants to arrive in good time in order to avoid queues.
  • If participants are to be assigned specific numbered seats, inform them of this in advance.
  • If you plan to have participants wear their event passes on a neckband, e-mail the pass to each participant in advance and ask them to print it out and bring it with them to the event.
  • Emphasise that government restrictions pertaining to events can change at short notice and that last-minute changes to both the organisation of the event and its programme are a possibility.
  • Recommend that participants download and use the HOIA tracing app.

 

b) Requirements of participants from abroad

 

  • Attendees and speakers from foreign countries are subject to the same requirements as all those arriving in Estonia from abroad: a person can participate in the event if they are free from symptoms AND have completed the necessary self-isolation period OR did not arrive from a country at risk OR have been fully vaccinated or have fully recovered from COVID-19.
  • If your event is to have international guests, make sure that the conditions for participating in the event, the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the reminders for attendees are also made available to foreign participants at an early stage.

 

c) Providing participants with information at the venue

 

  • Participants in the event must also be informed of the conditions of participation when they enter the event area. This information can be conveyed in the form of text and pictograms on site, over closed-circuit radio, over a public address system, on digital screens and/or via the event’s own app. Ask the host/event moderator to remind participants of the rules at the beginning of the event.
  • At the end of breaks and at the close of the event, encourage participants to exit in a dispersed manner.
  • Encourage participants to download Estonia’s HOIA mobile app, which alerts the user if they have come into close contact with an infected person and provides primary guidelines on further action.
  • Inform participants whom they should contact if they have questions or unexpected health concerns during the event.

 

CATERING

 

When organising an event at TCH, the organiser may make use of a suitable catering service provider. Make sure that the event’s catering partner and the venue ensure the provision of responsible catering servicesbased on the current procedures instituted by the Health Board and the Veterinary Board of the Republic of Estonia.

 

  • Have conference attendees leave the auditorium during breaks to enable the conference room to be aired.
  • Refreshment breaks should be held in a larger area so that there is sufficient space between participants.
  • Provide a contactless catering service. Opt for personally pre-packaged food portions. Each participant should also receive single-use utensils. This will reduce both the possibility of cross-contamination and queuing times. The packaging should be as environmentally friendly as possible (i.e. biodegradable materials).
  • Avoid queuing, add more food service points than usual and extend the duration of refreshment breaks.
  • When serving beverages, opt for bottled products and disposable cups.
  • Tea, coffee and creamer should be dispensed by a server to avoid everyone handling the pots and jugs.
  • Catering with table service is recommended – each participant with their own assigned seat and meals being brought to the tables by servers or placed on the tables beforehand in single, ready-to-consume portions. This solution significantly reduces contact between service providers and visitors. Consider providing more tables and seating fewer guests at each table. Assign seats ahead of time.
  • When serving food buffet-style, the food should be served by a server. This way, multiple attendees do not handle the same serving utensils.
  • Hand sanitiser or hand wash stations must also be available in the catering area.
  • Service personnel must wear personal protective equipment (protective masks, gloves, face shields, etc.).
  • During the summer, also arrange outdoor catering, using the venue’s outdoor areas.

 

OTHER WAYS OF MAKING YOUR EVENT AS SAFE AS POSSIBLE

 

  • On-site or QR code pre-testing
  • Require a negative coronavirus test result or vaccination certificate

 

Also:

 

  • Ask attendees to complete health surveys either before the event or each day during the event (via a mobile application).
  • Spread out the participants.
  • Split up attendees into smaller groups in separate zones in the audience area (with a correspondingly marked ticket or invitation). Ensure that those in the separate zones do not come into contact with one another (provide separate catering areas and other services).
  • Station medical staff on site throughout the event.
  • Distribute a ‘first aid kit’ to guests on arrival: face mask + hand sanitiser + disinfectant wipes.
  • Distinguish participants using colour codes (different coloured wristbands for those who wish to socialise with others and those who do not).