Expo visitors' safety is priority amid rising Covid-19 cases, says committee

The UAE reported 452 new infections on Tuesday, bringing the tally to 744,890

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Visitors heading to Expo 2020 Dubai over the holiday period have been given an assurance that their safety is always the number one priority.

The Steering Committee of the College of Commissioner Generals of Expo 2020 Dubai has held its third meeting since October 1, and reaffirmed its commitment to continuing to host a safe event.

Cases of Covid-19 have been surging globally amid the emergence of the Omicron variant, which has prompted countries in Europe to either go into lockdown or instate harsher safety measures to halt the spread of the virus.

“We will continue to ensure that the health and safety of all visitors and staff alike remains our number one priority,” said Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation and director general of Expo 2020 Dubai.

“In coordination with our partners in both the local and federal levels, we will continue to be agile, proactive and factual to ensure an unforgettable and safe Expo 2020 experience for all.”

Expo recently announced it was suspending 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.

One of the biggest global events to be held since the start of the pandemic, Expo 2020 has recently expanded the number of on-site PCR testing facilities to four, adding free testing for all country pavilion staff.

All frontline workers and entertainers continue to be tested on a regular basis.

More than 90 per cent of the UAE population is fully vaccinated, and Expo 2020 Dubai has required mandatory vaccination and boosters of all Expo and international participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers.

Visitors aged 18 and above must present proof of any vaccination or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours to enter the site.

Expo 2020 has a number of on-site sanitisation stations and mandatory face masks both in indoor and outdoor spaces.

The meeting was chaired by Manuel Salchli, commissioner general for Switzerland at Expo 2020. The committee comprises commissioner generals from 34 countries. Mr Salchli praised the UAE and event organisers for a successful opening, particularly in light of the challenges surrounding the pandemic.

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Updated: December 22, 2021, 7:43 AM