Event Planning in Times of Coronavirus

08/10/2021

  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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08/10/2021

 


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 October 8, 2021, North Rhine-Westphalia (and in its annex "Corona Test and Quarantine 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

 

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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.

Do I have to write a hygiene and infection prevention concept for my event in Cologne?

Suitable precautions must be taken for every event, in order to reduce the risk of infection as far as possible. A special hygiene and infection prevention concept is therefore required in some cases. Even if the presentation of such a concept to the responsible authorities is not mandatory, we recommend it in any case to provide for the maximum safety of your event participants. The Cologne Convention Bureau supports event planners in Cologne in developing a suitable concept by providing a checklist of the minimum information required in such a concept.

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. Find more information here.

Do you need approval for events in Cologne?

It may be necessary to submit a hygiene and infection prevention concept to the responsible health authorities in Cologne prior to your event. This is currently mandatory if the event falls into one of the categories of “trade fair” or “convention”, if the number of participants exceeds 100 and no fixed seating plans will be provided.

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 distances of 1.5 metres. There is an obligation to wear a mask covering the mouth and nose at conventions when not in your seat.

Must the contact details of participants be recorded?

The contact data of the participants in conventions and events need to be recorded in order to enable contact tracing should that become necessary. Regarding events with more than 100 participants, this must be regulated in the hygiene and infection prevention concept.

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 and the obligation to wear a face mask holds.

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 are subject to the regulations as restaurants. This means that catering offers in your venue are also subject to the following conditions: The distance of 1.5 metres between persons 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 in the presentation rooms is limited and seating is organised in such a way 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. 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.