Informa has confirmed that this year’s anticipated Vitafoods Europe exhibition is set to go ahead as planned and has provided an update on the health and safety arrangements made for the show’s return. The event is to take place in a new hybrid format, with attendees able to connect both in-person at Palexpo in Geneva (5-7 October) and online (4-8 October).
Changes in guidance to people visiting Geneva
A COVID Certificate is now required by all attendees, crew and staff entering Palexpo, as well as other venues in Switzerland, such as restaurants. This certificate provides evidence of COVID-19 vaccination, recovery from the disease or a recent negative test.
Swiss venues will accept EU Digital COVID Certificates, as well as certificates from Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland and Turkey. In addition, the Canton of Geneva has announced that from the 20th of September, venues will be permitted to accept all foreign vaccination certificates for EMA-approved vaccines. These certificates are valid in paper or digital form and can be written in any language, provided a translation in English, German, Italian, French or Spanish is available on the same document. This is a temporary measure as part of a transition to the use of Swiss government-issued COVID Certificates for fully (EMA approved) vaccinated visitors outside of the EU from the 10th of October. Applications for these passes are now open.
Visitors to Vitafoods Europe 2021 must therefore be able to produce a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate or non-EU pass with translation in order to gain access to this year’s event between the 5th-7th of October. In order to ensure safe and easy access to Vitafoods Europe 2021, Informa encourages all non-EU travellers to apply for a COVID Certificate or vaccination pass from their country of origin as early as possible.
Measures for entering Switzerland
People who have been vaccinated with a vaccine authorized in Switzerland or by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) can enter Switzerland. All unvaccinated individuals must present a negative test upon entry into Switzerland, regardless of their country of origin. All persons entering Switzerland must also complete the Passenger Locator Form (SwissPLF).
Fully vaccinated visitors must have had one of the following European Medicines Agency-approved vaccines: Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen / Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm / BIBP, Covishield and Sinovac. These individuals are exempt from many health-related measures, including quarantine and testing requirements at the Swiss border.
Individuals who are not yet fully vaccinated will need to present proof, via an approved COVID Certificate, of a negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) or rapid antigen test (not older than 48 hours), or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the last six months.
How to obtain a COVID-19 test in Geneva
There will be onsite testing facilities at the Palexpo venue for Vitafoods Europe 2021. However, to reduce queuing times, it is recommended that attendees requiring a test visit the Canton of Geneva website to find out where to book a test.
These measures were made effective as of 20 September and the transition period is expected to end on the 10th October, when Swiss-authorised COVID Certificates will be in place. Visitors and exhibitors are advised to keep up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 legislation before travelling for Vitafoods Europe. The most recent travel guidance and information on how to obtain a COVID Certificate from the Swiss authorities can be accessed via the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH).
Health and safety measures at the show
Vitafoods Europe will be run in accordance with Informa AllSecure health and safety standards, which have been revised to align with local requirements. These guidelines include: mandatory Swiss government-issued COVID Certificate checks; enhanced venue cleaning and ventilation; sanitiser stations; contactless registration; stand builds to maximise space; and advisory measures around face mask use and social distancing for attendees.
Speaking on the measures to be taken at the venue, Phillipe Echivard, Chief Security Officer at Palexpo, said: “Palexpo reopened at the start of July and since then, we have successfully run several events where we have had excellent feedback on how COVD-19 health and safety guidance has been implemented, as well as how pleased visitors are to be back for face-to-face meetings. We work closely with authorities in the Republic and Canton of Geneva, and this relationship is what has enabled us to restart our operations safely and efficiently. We also actively share information with other major European venues for the benefit of the wider exhibition industry and our guests. We’re delighted to be welcoming back the Vitafoods Europe team in 2021 and guarantee the highest standards of health and safety practices will be in place to ensure everyone has a safe and pleasant experience.”
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Editor, International Confectionery
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