Infection control guide for Boligmesse
The guide has been prepared according to a template from Standard Norway published on 30th of April 2021, and is in line with the National Institute of Public Health’s guidelines.
There will always be a risk of infection and that cases of infection can occur even if good infection control has been exercised. Infection prevention measures are taken to reduce the risk. This guide will provide insight into and advice on how day-to-day sales fairs can be organized for the public while at the same time safeguarding infection control in a responsible manner.
The trade fair organizer is responsible for ensuring that operations take place in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The management is responsible for ensuring sound operations that take into account infection control, and placing responsibility for various tasks in connection with the infection control councils.
Management must provide the necessary training and information to employees and users. Plans for infection control must be adapted to local conditions according to the advice given in this guide. The pandemic can be long-lasting, and there will be a need to maintain various services and functions in society at the same time as infection control considerations are taken into account. Different phases of the pandemic and different spread of infection in the country may require adapted measures.
Information material and posters about covid-19 can be found on the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s website.
Everyone should exercise good infection control during the covid-19 outbreak. This means that the three main principles for infection control as described in this guide must be observed both inside and outside the fair. A good collaboration between organizer, exhibitors and the audience must be maintained.
Information about covid-19 and measures in working life from the Norwegian Labor Inspection Authority can be found here.
About the virus, the disease and the outbreak
Please refer to www.fhi.no for updated and supplementary information about this.
Infection prevention measures
Many measures are taken in all parts of society which together limit the spread of infection. It is important to use measures that are adapted to different situations.
The purpose of the advice is to reduce the risk of covid-19 infection.
The three main pillars for slowing the spread of infection are:
1: Sick persons must not be physically present
2: Good hygiene
3: Reduced contact between people
The most important infection control measure is that sick people stay at home. Cough hygiene and distance are crucial to limit droplet infection, while hand hygiene, and especially avoiding touching the face with unclean hands, is important to prevent contact infection. Increased physical distance between people reduces the possibility of infection, even before symptoms of illness occur.
Covid-19 is transmitted mainly through droplet and contact infection. The virus is spread to the greatest extent by coughing and sneezing – and less by normal speech / talking. As of today, there is no basis for general use of face masks in healthy people. Non-medical face masks / face masks can be used by people who become ill when it is not possible to keep 1-2 meters away from others before they have time to get home.
The new coronavirus has not been shown to be transmitted through food, drink or water.
Despite well-implemented measures, cases of covid-19 and other infections can still occur. If infection control measures as proposed here have been implemented, the spread of infection will still be limited. The measures in the text below are a description of infection control measures that can help reduce the risk of infection to a minimum.
Sick persons must not be present
People with symptoms are most contagious (especially when coughing and sneezing), and the infectivity is greatest as the symptoms occur.
Symptoms of covid-19 can be mild and difficult to distinguish from other respiratory infections. The most commonly described symptoms of covid-19 are initially sore throat, cold and mild cough, as well as malaise, headache and muscle aches. Abdominal pain and diarrhea may also occur. About 8 out of 10 adults have only mild symptoms. In children, this proportion is probably even higher.
For some people with covid-19, the symptoms may develop further within a few days to a week to cough, fever and shortness of breath, and very few may have a severe course in need of hospital treatment. Severe covid-19 disease is very rare in children.
Based on this, it is important that people with even mild respiratory symptoms do not meet physically at work or in other contexts where they meet others.
In the case of probable or confirmed covid-19, separate recommendations on isolation for the patient and quarantine for close contacts apply, see www.fhi.no. The municipal health service is responsible for follow-up around covid-19 cases and for deciding necessary measures. The municipal health service defines who are close contacts to the sick and therefore should be in quarantine (infection detection), and whether there is a need for information to others. Should there be a need for further measures, it is the municipal health service’s task to assess and possibly issue an order to this effect.
People who can attend the fair:
- People who do not have symptoms of disease
- In the event of a respiratory infection, employees of the organizer, exhibitors and the public can meet when they have been symptom-free for at least one day.
- When reviewing covid-19, separate advice applies for when isolation can be lifted, stated by the health service and www.fhi.no
People with symptoms, in quarantine or isolation
People who have symptoms of a respiratory infection should not attend the fair, even with mild symptoms. People who are in quarantine and isolation should also not attend the fair. This will be communicated to both exhibitors and the public. Audiences who have pre-booked a ticket, as well as exhibitors, will receive information about this in advance of the fair. In addition, it is informed on digital and physical surfaces, as well as on arrival.
In the event of illness while people are present at the fair
The organizer’s employees, exhibitors and the audience who become ill while at work / present at the fair, must go home as soon as possible. Sick people who have to be picked up by others have to wait in a separate room or outside where there are no others. Sick people should not take public transport. Sick people should cover their noses and mouths if they cannot keep two meters away from others to reduce the spread of infection.
The municipal health service is responsible for follow-up around cases with confirmed covid-19 (infection detection), and shall notify the trade fair organizer if the public or employees who have been present during the trade fair receive covid-19 confirmed. It is the municipal health service that must decide on further measures and define close contacts with the patient.
Compass Fairs has a digital ticket system, which ensures that contact information is collected on everyone who visits Boligmesse.
Good hand and cough hygiene
Good hand and cough hygiene reduces infection in all respiratory infections, including covid-19 infection. These measures reduce infection via objects and hands as well as infection by coughing. Hygiene measures must be carried out frequently by everyone, regardless of knowledge of one’s own and others’ infection status.
Hand washing with lukewarm water and liquid soap is an effective way to prevent infection. Dirt, bacteria and viruses detach from the skin during washing and are rinsed off with water.
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly. The actual washing process should take at least 20 seconds. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsFQfZit0KU
- Wipe your hands with disposable paper towels.
- Performed as a minimum on arrival, between different tasks (for example if you move), after toilet visits, and before and after eating.
Options for hand washing:
- The virus is sensitive to alcohol, and alcohol-based disinfection (hand sanitizer) is an option if hand washing options are not available.
- Hand disinfection is placed in places where there are no hand washing facilities (at entrances, employees ‘and exhibitors’ break rooms, café areas for the public and several other easily accessible places at the fair).
- Alcohol-based disinfection is ineffective in visibly dirty or wet hands, then hand washing should be performed.
- Handshake, squeezing and unnecessary physical contact are avoided as far as possible.
- Avoid touching the face
- Cough in the elbow hook or in a paper that is thrown away. Wash hands afterwards.
The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is easily removed by manual cleaning with water and regular cleaning agents. The virus can survive on surfaces from hours to days, depending on the type of surface, temperature, sunlight and other factors. Therefore, thorough and frequent cleaning is important to prevent infection.
Cleaning will be carried out throughout the weekend, and continuous cleaning of toilets and entrances. Exposed areas (see below) must have enhanced cleaning. It is not necessary to use additional protective equipment. Wash hands after cleaning, even if gloves have been worn during cleaning.
It is not necessary to use disinfectant routinely. If disinfectant is still used, visible dirt must first be wiped off with a cloth or paper towel, otherwise the disinfectant will not work. Topical disinfectants are alcohol-based disinfectant and chlorine.
Enhanced cleaning in exposed areas:
- Toilets and washbasins must be cleaned at least daily for daily use. Wipe surfaces such as toilet seat and faucet on the washbasin regularly, depending on how often it is used.
- Disposable paper towels and soap should be available, and care must be taken to dispose of rubbish regularly.
- Pay extra attention to the cleaning of employees ‘and exhibitors’ break rooms, as well as the café area for the public.
- Dining tables are washed with soap and water after use.
- Door handles, stair railings, chairs, other table surfaces and other objects that are often touched are cleaned frequently, at least daily for daily use.
- Equipment used by several people at the fair (eg tablets, touch screens, keyboards, etc.) is cleaned after use.
Reduced contact between people
Contact-reducing measures to prevent the spread of infection are important in all situations and must be maintained at all stages in meetings between the public, employees and exhibitors. From experience, it is easiest to forget these measures in more informal situations, such as breaks, transport to and from etc.
- The distance between exhibitors and the audience at the stand must be at least 1 meter, 2 meters where possible. This also applies to the entrance area and when buying tickets. Guidance / help of longer duration should be provided via telephone / video meeting, and exhibitors are encouraged to agree this with the public who are interested in follow-up.
- Exhibitors who want, but do not themselves have satisfactory Plexiglas solutions, will be able to rent this from the organizer. The plexiglass must cover at least 20 cm outside face and chest height in all directions.
Entrance area, walkways and common areas
- The organizer must utilize the capacity of the exhibition area, and build wide corridors, so that distance is ensured in accordance with given guidelines. Using counting systems that provide control over how many people are inside the hall at any given time, ongoing assessments are made to ensure that distance is possible to comply with.
- To avoid too many persons in the entrance area, there will be distance markings on the floor, which will help everyone keep at least 1 meter distance from others. In the event of a large crowd, in the entrance area or inside the trade fair itself, a separate waiting area will be set up outside the main entrance, where it is ensured that distance recommendations are complied with.
- Separate inputs and outputs are set up to avoid congestion.
- The café for the public is run by a local professional player, and follows the current guidelines for this type of operation.
- People can pass each other and be shortly in the same area without further risk of infection. Close face-to-face contact should be avoided.
- At least 1 hour stay between each lecture to avoid crowding. Chairs in the lecture area will be at least 1 meter away.
- Dedicated security personnel will help to ensure that the rules on distance are complied with, both at entrances, in common areas and walkways.
- Children’s park is kept closed until further notice.
Especially for employees and exhibitors
- Shared tablets, computers / keyboards must be washed off after use.
- Advice on distance between people must also be observed at the stand and in the break area for employees and exhibitors.
- Limit the use of public transport where possible.
For updated information about people who may have a higher risk of covid-19, see the National Institute of Public Health’s website: https://www.fhi.no/nettpub/coronavirus/fakta/risikogrupper/?term=&h=1
Based on information about the outbreak so far from China, Italy, Great Britain, USA and Norway as of 24.04.2020, it is especially older people (over 65 years) who have a higher risk of serious illness with the new coronavirus, especially if they also have underlying chronic disease. In addition, adults, especially those over the age of 50, with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure) and diabetes may have a slightly higher risk of severe covid-19. Employees of organizers and exhibitors who belong to groups with a higher risk of a serious course of covid-19 should be assessed individually in relation to adapted work. Employees for whom this is relevant must have a doctor’s certificate.