Alan Joyce is proposing that Qantas can resume services with full aircraft. Let’s extrapolate that option to the event industry.
Joyce argues that “Social distancing on an aircraft is impractical,” and if the 1.5m distance between people was enforced, a 180 seat Airbus A320 could only board 22 passengers “That means airfares are going to be eight to nine times more than they are today”
Compare that to a theatre, conference or event venue and you have the same financial situation.
Qantas are proposing
- Contactless check-in (via online/app) and self-serve bag drop strongly encouraged
- Hand sanitising stations at departure gates
- Temporary changes to Qantas Lounges, including increased physical distancing, hand sanitising stations, enhanced disinfection of surfaces and adjustments to food and drink service
- Enhanced cleaning of aircraft with a disinfectant effective against coronaviruses, with a focus on high contact areas – seats, seatbelts, overhead lockers, air vents and toilets.
- Sanitising wipes given to all passengers to wipe down seat belts, trays and armrests
- Simplified service and catering to minimise contact for crew and passengers
Now let’s extrapolate that to theatres, conference or event venues
- Contactless ticketing (easily implemented)
- Hand sanitising stations in foyers
- Enhanced disinfection of surfaces and adjustments to food and drink service
- Enhanced cleaning of venues with a disinfectant effective against coronaviruses, with a focus on high contact areas – seats, tables, air vents and toilets.
- Sanitising wipes given to all patrons to wipe down areas they came in contact with.
- Simplified service and catering to minimise contact for staff and visitors
One other big similarity is contact tracing. Most events in theatres, conference or event venues are already ticketed so it is a very small step to extend that to a full registration to enable contact details to be collected. And providing those details is a very small price for patrons to pay to enable them to attend events.
Then if any cases arise at an event the other patrons can be quickly contacted – especially if the law is changed to allow the COVIDsafe app to be linked, and mandatory, if patrons wish to enter these venues. Of course patrons still have the option to not attend a conference or theatre production if they do not wish to be traced.
I am not suggesting this could happen immediately. However as I pointed out last week the Three step roadmap to reopening Australia does not include events. So maybe this option could come in at the yet to be determined Step 4, 5 or 6.