UFI and SISO call for ‘testing before quarantine’ approach to support reopening of events sector

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, and the Society for Independent Show Organisers (SISO) have called on policymakers and governments around the world to focus their Civid-19 efforts on effective testing programs over quarantine based policy to maintain the flow of people, products, and services.

“Around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has already caused a global recession unlike anything we have seen for generations,” said UFI president Mary Larkin (Diversified Communications) and SISO chair Doug Emslie (Tarsus Group) in a joint statement.

“Going forward, and until the global community has developed and rolled out vaccination programmes, we have to find the best possible solutions for maintaining the flow of people, products and services.

“This is needed to stabilise business and to avoid economic hardship for citizens around the world as government support programmes are being scaled back over time. The exhibitions industry possesses one of the critical skills for any economic recovery:

“It sets up and operates the marketplaces and meeting places for industries and communities to meet for business. Trade shows and exhibitions are organised events, as recognised by the WHO and governments. They are not unorganised mass gatherings.

“In recent months, hundreds of trade shows have taken place, predominantly in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, with health and safety measures in place, based on global industry standards and aligned with local regulations.

“Not one of them has caused a COVID outbreak. At the same time, hundreds of relevant trade shows have to be cancelled or postponed, as buyers and sellers cannot plan to attend, primarily due to travel restrictions and fast changing quarantine regulations.

“For economies to recover, for sectors to restart, the business community needs clarity and reliable regulations for the coming months. Rapid antigen COVID tests are reliable and becoming widely available. These Rapid Tests provide the best solution for creating a safe environment to hold managed business events. We call on governments and authorities to follow a ‘testing before quarantine’ approach for business related travel and activities.”