Expo 2020 Dubai suspends some events as precaution against Covid-19

Close-contact parades and entertainment are halted temporarily as organisers tighten safety measures

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Expo 2020 Dubai has suspended its daily parades and some other activities that carry the risk of potential close contact as a precaution to curb Covid-19.

Entertainment in which performers interact with visitors has been put on hold, organisers said on Monday.

Coronavirus screening centres on site have been expanded with an additional fourth PCR centre to ensure regular testing of frontline staff and entertainers.

On Sunday, the UAE reported 285 new Covid-19 cases, the highest figure in 12 weeks, though numbers remain low compared to earlier in the year.

Officials stressed that most events at the world's fair will continue over the Christmas holidays, and said the number of visits had just crossed the seven million mark.

Quote
Some of our close-contact events, such as parades and roving entertainers, have been temporarily suspended as a short-term precautionary measure. This is a dynamic and fluid situation and we are reviewing this daily
Sconaid McGeachin, senior vice president, Expo 2020 Dubai

“One of the key things we are focused on is maintaining our robust Covid-19 measures, ensuring a safe and exceptional event for all attending,” Sconaid McGeachin, senior vice president of communications, said on Monday.

“Some of our close-contact events, such as parades and roving entertainers, have been temporarily suspended as a short-term precautionary measure.

“This is a dynamic and fluid situation and we are reviewing this daily. We just want to ensure the safety of all visitors and the safety of all staff on site.”

Festive celebrations still on track

The decision to stop the parades was taken because the performers interact with visitors and children during the shows. All frontline workers and entertainers will continue to be tested on a regular basis and there will be free Covid-19 tests for all pavilion staff.

“We are also ensuring all the staff, whether Expo staff, volunteers or country pavilions are having the booster vaccination as soon as they can,” Ms McGeachin said.

Extra vigilance will be practised across the site, with visitors reminded to wear masks. Broadcast staff and reporters in the media centre are being asked to wear masks at all times.

“As you walk around the site, you will notice we are being scrupulous about people wearing masks,” Ms McGeachin said.

“We would ask all media to observe that, within the media centre particularly, in the lifts we have noticed a lot of people are not wearing masks.

“We will be asking that everybody plays their part to ensure the safety of everybody.”

Expo organisers are working with the Dubai and the UAE health authorities, and are following international guidelines set by the World Health Organisation.

The festive season is set to increase visitor numbers to the site with musical and cultural performances planned in the days leading up to Christmas and in to the New Year.

Christmas shows are on every evening at Al Wasl Plaza with stunning visuals beamed across the dome and dry snowflakes blowing across the area on to spectators gathered below.

Proof of vaccine or recent test

Expo 2020 Dubai has made vaccinations and boosters mandatory for all Expo and international staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers.

Visitors to the site aged 18 and above must present a copy of a vaccination report or, if they are unvaccinated, a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours to enter.

More than 90 per cent of the UAE population has received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. According to official data, 100 per cent of the eligible population has received one vaccine dose, while 91.35 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Updated: December 20, 2021, 8:42 AM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL