COVID-19 advisory and contingency plans

Release date 2020/06/02

We have implemented the strictest COVID-19 procedures during the receiving of samples and product evaluation, and have put redundancy measures in place to make sure everything happens on time. The dates on our website are valid for this year’s competition.

Release date 2020/03/24

After the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of a lockdown starting midnight 26 March, for 21 days, we have decided to reevaluate our protocols after this period.

Release date 2020/03/18

Since January our team have been following the coronavirus (covid-19/ the virus) outbreak closely, as it has become a public health concern worldwide. We are aware of the increase in patients in South Africa, and we will continue to monitor the situation.

We are in the process of reworking all our procedures to make sure that the health of the staff and panellists at our events are given top priority, as well as being pro-active in not spreading the virus. Our team will follow the lead of the South African Department of Health and the World Health Organisation’s best practice guidelines. We sincerely hope that these measures will not need to be employed, but we have a duty to prepare for all scenarios to the fullest degree possible.

Events hosted by The Awards Show (Pty) Ltd do not qualify as public events as yet, and currently will not suffer if public events are shut down. Throughout the planning process, the advice of the World Health Organisation, the South African Department of Health and local government will be followed, and only during a complete lock down will the event be rescheduled.

Face to face meetings will not take place, and email/telephone or video communications will be implemented. This applies to staff and customers.

At all times, best practices will be followed to ensure the health and safety of staff and participants as well as ensuring that our actions do not put the public at large at risk.

We encourage all our customers and suppliers to please consider self-quarantine should you display any flu like symptoms, or should you have been exposed to an infected person.

Unless circumstances change, and government and health organisations decree circumstances differently, these protocols will be in effect.

We are employing the following guiding principles to combat the spread of the virus, for the safety of all concerned and to make sure the event takes place.

  • Planning and staff education
  • Avoiding pathogen spread through infected persons
  • Social distancing
  • Redundancy measures
  • Personal and occupational hygiene
  • Compartmentalising events
  • Signage

Implementation of plans

1.Planning

Without planning for every possible outcome and preparing for them, this event will not take place if the worst happens. Our planning must ensure that this event takes place and proper assessments of all entered products will be conducted during any possible scenario.

Staff will be trained to make sure all protocols are followed, and what to do if there is a breach in these measures.

2.Avoiding spread

  • All staff that have been in contact with a known person who has contracted the disease within the previous two weeks will not be able to help with this event.
  • Persons who have travelled to other countries where the virus is present within the previous three weeks will not be allowed to help with this event.
  • All staff and panellists will have their body thermally screened on arrival, and if it is too high (>37.5°C), they will immediately be sent home and they will not be allowed to take part in the event.
  • Staff and panellist that are showing any flu-like symptoms will immediately be sent home and will not be able to take part in the event.
  • At no time will staff come within 1 metre of each other and all surfaces that have been touched by a person who has been asked to leave will be disinfected.

3.Social distancing

Panellists and staff will always keep a minimum of one metre distance from each other. Panellists will be assigned to individual stations where products will be set up before their arrival, to make sure there is no contact with other panellists or staff.

4.Redundancy measures

The situation around staff and panellists health is constantly evolving, therefore we will make sure that there are at least two people on standby for every one person who is primarily responsible for their role.

Redundancy is particularly important for key personnel that are more exposed to the detrimental effects of the virus.

5.Personal and occupational hygiene

  • All panellists and staff will wear sanitary gloves and will frequently sterilise and clean their hands and their immediate environment.
  • Staff will always wear disposable gloves and will frequently carry out cleaning and disinfection of their gloves.
    All surfaces will be cleaned ahead of the event.
  • Only fresh glasses/tasting containers will be used when judging, and no panellist will handle the glasses/tasting containers of another panellist.

Public rest rooms:
It is the responsibility of the property managers hosting the event to sanitise public restrooms every day, but all staff will be obliged to take responsibility for general hygiene within the premises, including wiping of surfaces, door handles and thorough washing and disinfection of hands throughout the process.

6.Compartmentalising events
To ensure that we stay below the minimum amount of people that can be at any public gathering, tastings will be broken down in subunits, or cell events. At no time will a particular cell consist of more than the maximum number of people allowed to gather.

These sub events will be made possible through two mechanisms:

  • Parallel tasting in separated locations.
  • Tasting at different times.

7.Signage

Signage regarding hygiene will be set up at key locations around our events and will be pointed out to staff and panellists.

Signage will include reminders to wash your hands:

  • After coughing or sneezing
  • Before eating
  • After using the rest rooms
  • When hands are visibly dirty
  • After touching unclean surfaces or touching another person
  • While keeping social distance

These measures will constantly be updated and refreshed as more knowledge is gained and as the situation changes.

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