Event Planning in Times of Coronavirus

30/12/2021

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. Thus we have summarised the regulations included in the most recent Corona Protection Ordinance [only DE] of 20 January, 2022, valid for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Our information focuses on the topics which ...

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30/12/2021

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. Thus we have summarised the regulations included in the most recent Corona Protection Ordinance [only DE] of 20 January, 2022, valid for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Our information focuses on the topics which are relevant to the congress and meeting market. 

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 addition, a concept must be submitted for outdoor events for which admission control cannot be granted. In other cases, event planners are no longer 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 current access system specifies access restrictions for events as well as for other offers.

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 only required for events with more than 100 participants without fixed seating. Nevertheless, 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. It is also mandatory for outdoor events which cannot regulate admission based on 2G- or 3G- status upon entry.

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. These rules include access restrictions, the obligation to wear a mask and to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres. Currently, there is an obligation to wear a mask covering the mouth and nose at conventions when not in your seat, provided that seats are positioned to maintain the minimum distance of 1.5 metre between participants.

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 as well as outdoor events without admission control, 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. If you expect more than 100 participants, you must present a location-based hygiene and infection prevention concept to the respective health authority prior to carrying out the event. A hygiene and infection prevention concept must also be presented for outdoor events which do not restrict admission based on the participants 2G- or 3G-status.

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 same regulations as restaurants. This means that catering offers in your venue are also subject to the following conditions: Entry may only be granted for those who can prove a 2Gplus-status. 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.

What does 2G+ mean regarding the admission to events, etc.?

If events are accessible to participants based on their 2G+ status, this means that participants must additionally present a current negative test result in addition to their status of recovery or complete vaccination upon admission. A maximum 24-hour-old rapid test or a self-test under supervision is possible. This obligation to present a negative test result does not apply to persons who have an effective booster vaccination or have proof of recovery from a COVID infection no older than three months as well as proof of full immunization before the infection.

Do virtual events take place in Cologne?

Yes, virtual or hybrid events are increasingly conducted in Cologne during the coronavirus pandemic as they offer better possibilities for personal distancing. 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.