This week’s slew of information regarding lockdowns, vaccinations and much more took a bit of deciphering – so here is a summary.
The key message of the week is that lockdowns will end when we get to a vaccination rate of 80% of over 16s, which I tried to unpick from watching one of those classic medical presentations with unintelligible slides Making sense of the COVID transition plan and could Sydney reopen in September?
Essentially we can expect more of the Victorian, Queensland and South Australian style snap lockdowns and less of the NSW “keep the economy open so we can drag on forever” style.
BECA are promoting Giving Business Events a Shot
A response from Save Victorian Events to the Victorian inquiry into tourism and events and Peter Jones asks the industry What is the priority for us now in response to the Victorian Events Industry Enquiry?
The push for “vaccination passports” for international and local travel is solid and getting a lot of traction in the media.
The option for event organisers and venue operators to mandate that their staff be vaccinated is now more likely, as is the requirement for attendees at events to prove they are vaccinated or had a negative test in the lead up to the event.
Judging by a small survey of the event industry this option is supported – Does the event industry support a vaccine passport?
The NSW Premier Berejiklian has endorsed mandated vaccination by employers. When asked at this morning’s presser what she thinks of employers insisting on vaccinations she replied
“Workplaces have the right to mandate vaccination, if they decide they have a particular policy of who is allowed to work in their workplace under a pandemic during a lockdown, that is a matter for them.”
We will hopefully reach 80% by the end of this year – until then there can be no certainty that any event you plan will actually go ahead.
Which brings us to the push for COVID cancellation insurance for events
So what will events look like once we get to 70 – 80% vaccination?
To see what 70 – 80% vaccination rate will look like for the event industry let’s have a look at the USA which has 70% vaccination in many states and we have seen events open up. Case in point – Lollapalooza was held last weekend in Chicago, with an estimated 100,000 people flocking to the city’s Grant Park for each day of the four-day music festival.
Organizers required attendees to wear masks at any indoor spaces, and all guests had to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the festival. (Some 600 people were turned away on Thursday, the festival’s first day, for not having either).
Two quotes from this morning’s pressers to finish off the week:
NSW Premier Berejiklian foreshadowing higher case numbers in the coming days:
“I do want to foreshadow that, given this high number of cases, we’re likely to see this trend continue for the — likely to see this trend continue for the next few days. I do want people to prepare themselves for higher case numbers in the next few days, based on the trend in the last few days. I expect higher case numbers in the next few days and I want people to be prepared for that”.
Victoria’s Covid-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar says;
“We’re fed up, we’re tired, we’ve all had enough of these lockdowns”.
“But we know that it works. Please support one another and those who are doing the hard yards and making difficult decisions… please support those around you and look out for them.”
So for everyone’s sake – get vaccinated.