Event Planning in Times of Coronavirus

01/06/2021

  You want to organize your event in Cologne, but are uncertain how things are working in times of coronavirus? We are aware of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic holds a great deal of uncertainty for you in the course of your event planning and would like to provide you with the best possible support in this situation. With a view to the increasing vaccination rates in the population and resulting protection against the Coronavirus, an entirely new framework for regulations has been included in the most recent Corona Protection ...

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01/06/2021

 


You want to organize your event in Cologne, but are uncertain how things are working in times of coronavirus? We are aware of the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic holds a great deal of uncertainty for you in the course of your event planning and would like to provide you with the best possible support in this situation.

With a view to the increasing vaccination rates in the population and resulting protection against the Coronavirus, an entirely new framework for regulations has been included in the most recent Corona Protection Ordinance [only DE] of August 17, 2021, North Rhine-Westphalia (and in its annex "Hygiene and Infection Protection Rules" [only DE]). This framework makes for the greatest possible normalization of social, societal, cultural and economic life. It also affects the entire congress and meeting market. The previously applied tier system will be replaced by simplified access rules that provide for access restrictions depending on the current incidence rate.

Venues that want organize indoor events with more than 100 participants without fixed seating plans must submit a facility-specific hygiene and infection prevention concept to the responsible health authority (public health department) prior to its first opening. In the future, event planners will no longer be required to submit a hygiene and infection protection concept. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend that it be prepared and offer support with our Coronavirus checklist, which can be downloaded for free. You will also find a sample form template for the hygiene and infection protection concept. Have a look at our video for a best-practice example of how to safely plan and conduct your event in current times in Cologne.

The following information serves as a basis to support you in your event planning. 

For questions the City of Cologne directly, please contact:

Gesundheitsamt Stadt Köln (City of Cologne health authority)
Neumarkt 15-21
50667 Köln
Tel.: +49 (0)221/221-33500
e-mail: gesundheitsamt@stadt-koeln.de

 

Meeting safely at conference hotels in Cologne
Meeting safely at event centres in Cologne
Meeting safely at event venus in Cologne

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FAQs - Frequently asked questions

Can your planned event in Cologne take place despite the coronavirus pandemic?

Please note:

Currently applicable regulations for event planners in times of Coronavirus can be found here.

Events are possible again under consideration of the currently valid rules. The access system, which has been in force since mid-August, specifies access restrictions for events as well as for other offers depending on the incidence number and the status of the participants.

Which information must be included in the hygiene and infection prevention concept for your event?

Various aspects must be taken into account in a hygiene and infection prevention concept for events in Cologne. You can orient yourself on four overarching themes when developing a concept. These are the clarification of responsibilities, the rules for maintaining minimum distancing, the obligation to wear a mask covering the mouth and nose and compliance with the provisions for special infection hygiene.

Do you need approval for events in Cologne?

A hygiene and infection prevention concept need currently not be submitted to the responsible health authorities in Cologne for their information before your event is held if the event falls into one of the categories of “trade fair” or “convention”.

Do the obligation to wear a mask and the minimum distancing requirements also apply to conventions?

Organizing conventions in North Rhine-Westphalia requires certain measures to be taken in order to prevent the participants' infection with COVID19. The current regulations include rules covering the obligation to wear a mask and to maintain minimum distancing. For example, there is an obligation to wear a mask covering the mouth and nose at conventions when not in your seat.

Can events without fixed seating also be held?

Insofar as events without fixed seating are held, the applicable minimum distance of 1.5 metres must be guaranteed. In case no fixed seating or standing places are given, there might be an obligation for participants to wear a face mask

How do I pay attention to the provisions for special infection hygiene in the visitor management?

The infection hygiene can be maintained in visitor management by measures such as those following: Non-contact entry management, non-contact payment, staggered admission and central visitor registration.

How can I offer catering despite all of these rules and regulations?

Catering offers, like restaurant operations, are subject to the regulations in §3 and §4 of the current CoronaSchVO (Order regarding protection against new cases of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2). This means that catering offerings in your venue are also subject to the following conditions: The distance of 1.5 metres between persons or a constructional separation between groups in the catering area must be ensured, sanitizer dispensers must be provided at self-service buffets.

Can a presentation program also be offered as part of the event?

A presentation program can be offered provided that the number of participants is limited by restriction of access to the presentation rooms and seating that is marked in such a way as to ensure that the minimum distance of 1.5 meters between visitors in the presentation rooms is guaranteed at all times.

Do virtual events take place in Cologne?

Yes, events of a virtual or hybrid nature can also be conducted in Cologne during the coronavirus pandemic, for example. They will, however, also be part of the event and meeting market in the time after the pandemic. At its “Event planning Coronavirus” site, the Cologne Convention Bureau informs its customers about the currently applicable regulations.