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The face mask drupa: Messe Düsseldorf’s new Covid protocols 

Organisers of global print expo drupa 2021 have released an extensive new Hygiene and Infection Protection Concept designed for ”safe and successful trade fairs in Corona times.” Major exhibitors including Heidelberg, Xerox, Bobst and now Manroland have all decided against taking part in next year’s event, which was postponed from June 2020 because of the pandemic.

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wolfram dienrer messe

      "We are ready": Wolfram Diener,
              CEO Messe Düsseldorf 


“Enterprises need platforms now to present themselves and their innovations, to network and jointly chart the course for the future.,” said new Messe Düsseldorf CEO Wolfram Diener. “With our leading international trade fairs, we deliver second-to-none prerequisites for doing so. Our hygiene and infection protection standards ensure that the safety and health of our exhibitors, visitors, partners and members of staff are protected in the best possible way. We are ready.”

The gradual easing of international travel restrictions has promoted the resumption of trade fair operations, said Messe Düsseldorf in a statement. “Following the first border openings within Europe, the German Federal Government has gradually lifted the restrictions for entries from third countries since 1 July 2020. Such initiatives especially benefit Düsseldorf’s leading international trade fairs as they stand out with their particularly high international attendance. In 2019 this stood at 73.4% for exhibitors and 37.1% for visitors.

“As a matter of principle, the official distancing and hygiene rules shall be applicable at events held at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre, compliance is also up to each individual – as is the case in the public sphere and in retail.

“These rules include maintaining a minimum distance of 1.5 m, seeing to one’s own hand hygiene, wearing a face mask, following the sneeze etiquette and foregoing such welcoming rituals as shaking hands. If needed face masks will be handed out by service staff at the entrances and at the premises.”

Other measures outlined in the 27-page Hygiene and Infection Protection Concept include two-lane aisles, limits on visitor numbers and a ban on exhibitor stand parties.

“All forthcoming events at the Düsseldorf location will be subject to a limitation on persons present to ensure minimum distancing can be observed. Tickets will therefore be limited and only available online; visitors will have to register upon purchasing them. This permits the monitoring of headcount as people enter the venue. At the same time, the provisions of the Corona Protection Ordinance of the federal state North Rhine- Westphalia governing the traceability of all persons present can be complied with and implemented.

“Wherever queues form, floor markings will draw attention to the minimum distancing requirements. Here and on all public spaces, Messe Düsseldorf staff and security personnel will ensure these distances are observed. This is performed on site and by means of existing video systems. At the exhibitors’ stands this is done by their employees. To avoid bumping into people all aisles are to be used as in road traffic i.e. by keeping to the “right-hand lane”. All doors – with the exception of fire protection doors – will be wide open for contactless use.

“Sanitizers will be made available across the entire premises; at stands exhibitors themselves will be in charge of this. All payment transactions will be cashless – to the extent possible. For this reason all ticket counters will remain closed. Service desks, counters, etc. will be equipped with transparent partitions as hygiene guards. At least twice a day – also more frequently depending on the footfall – turnstiles and ticket scanners, service desk and counter tops as well as contact surfaces such as door handles etc. will be cleaned.

“In the toilet facilities, the maximum number of persons is determined by the number of open WCs and urinals. Here one out of two urinals and wash basins will be blocked off; WC cubicles will all be accessible without any restrictions.

“Constant and sufficient ventilation is ensured – by the air-handling systems and the specifications for stand construction and exhibit displays: the volume of fresh air constantly supplied to the halls exceeds the actual need many times over and the fresh air quality corresponds to the outdoor air. Furthermore, conference rooms or ground floors in multi-storey stands are only permitted with open layouts to ensure they receive sufficient ventilation. The same applies to walk-in exhibits whose doors, windows and roof hatches have to be open at all times.

“As before, there will be food service and catering offered at the events. The operators have to draw up their own hygiene and infection protection concept for this based on the Corona Protection Ordinance of the federal state of NRW and its annexes. For the duration of the Corona pandemic there is a general ban on stand parties and/or exhibitor parties at the premises. Stand construction is governed by the “SARS-CoV-2- Arbeitsschutz-standard” H&S standard of the Federal German Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs."

mess d logoSafety for the Workforce of Messe Düsseldorf

The protection of the workforce is also guaranteed, said the company. All members of staff will receive textile face masks; for outdoor jobs there will be an additional visor. Tools are, if possible, personally assigned to individual employees – and will be cleaned before being handed over to third parties. Protective gloves are mandatory if jobs cannot be performed with personally assigned tools or if an immediate exchange of materials and objects is required.

"The safety of our exhibitors, visitors, partners and employees is always our top priority,” said Diener. “As usual, they can expect a high level of hygiene, safety and good medical care at the Düsseldorf exhibition centre.”

Messe Düsseldorf Group recorded sales of €378.5m in 2019, with 29,222 exhibitors presenting products to 1.4 million trade visitors at events in Düsseldorf. 

drupa 2016 had more than 260,000 visitors.