Over the past few weeks event professionals have looked on in increasing horror as Australian Premiers & Chief health officers imposed their lockdowns and ramped up the rhetoric. Their collective mixed messaging, together with contradictory advice on the safety of the Astra Zeneca vaccine for the young has resulted in a COVID health & safety PR train-wreck. Not to mention yet another blow to Australian event organisers, who trade on certainty and have been trying to deliver their events whenever opportunity shows itself.
Meanwhile the rest of the world is beginning to open again.
On the 19th July UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce scrapping laws on social distancing, mandatory masks and caps on gatherings and ending contact tracing for venues. “If we don’t go ahead now when we we’ve clearly done so much with the vaccination programme to break the link between infection and death – when would we go ahead,” he said.
The New UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid response to the announcement was “a restoration of so many of the freedoms that make this [UK] country great”.
Sweden started to reopen its borders to several countries from 30th June, including travellers from the USA, who need to test negative for COVID-19 with 48 hours of their departure. The timing coincides with the long summer Swedish days, which offer great opportunities for tourism operators and destination management companies.
At the end of June Singapore announced plans to stop counting COVID case numbers and treat the virus in the same way as flu.
A statement from a taskforce of Singaporean ministers published in the Straits Times said “We can’t eradicate it, but we can turn the pandemic into something much less threatening, like influenza, hand, foot and mouth disease, or chickenpox, and get on with our lives.”
Singapore will resume major events with no restrictions other than contact tracing and rapid testing, and travel will open up with countries that have controlled the virus.
“History has shown that every pandemic will run its course” they said.