Updated 20 October 2021
The much-awaited mega global event Expo 2020 Dubai, postponed due to the pandemic, has finally opened its doors to the general public on October 1, ready to welcome millions throughout the year, enforcing stringent COVID-19 precautionary measures. You can find the complete Expo 2020 COVID-19 safety brochure here.
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Expo 2020 health and safety measures
Hosting such a massive event with 192 participating nations, 200 plus pavilions, along with up to 60 daily shows and 200 dining venues serving more than 50 cuisines, is no small feat and the team behind Expo 2020 is all set to welcome millions worldwide.
To ensure that your visit is enjoyable and safe, the organisers of Expo 2020 have mandated COVID-19 appropriate behaviour throughout the venue to enjoy the event to the fullest. Here are the latest entry requirements and safety measures to be followed at the Expo 2020 Dubai.
Before coming to Expo 2020
Please do not visit Expo 2020 if:
- You are suffering from any health symptoms associated with COVID-19
- You have been in close contact with an individual confirmed as COVID-19 positive
- You are under any quarantine/self-quarantine orders.
Expo 2020 Dubai will require visitors to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test result issued within 72 hours to enter the event. Non-vaccinated ticket-holders who have yet to be tested may do so at the PCR testing facility adjacent to the Expo 2020 site.
Expo 2020 Dubai plans to make PCR testing free of charge for holders of the 1-Day or Multi-Day Pass ticket holders at testing centres that are part of the Expo network across the city. These testing centres can be found on the Expo 2020 website.
Note: The following attendees will not be eligible for free PCR test:
- Visitors who are fully vaccinated or partially vaccinated (one dose)
- Visitors with a Season Pass, including Jubilee Experience, Premium Experience and Family Package
The measures build on the UAE’s successful COVID-19 strategy and enhance existing measures to ensure the health and safety of all Expo visitors, participants and staff, including on-site sanitisation stations, mandatory face-masks both indoor and outdoor and two-metre social distancing. All Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers are also vaccinated.
All visitors must correctly wear a face covering or face mask at all times unless they have a medical exemption approved by Dubai Health Authority (DHA). Children under the age of 6 years old are not required to wear face masks.
A stock of spare face masks is maintained at each Arrivals Plaza and other locations across the site, including ticket sales and resolution points, visitor information centres and food and beverage areas, for any visitors who forget to bring a mask or the mask is damaged during their visit.
The following categories of people are eligible for a face mask exemption:
- Those suffering from fungal dermatitis, especially if they have severe symptoms in the face like bleeding, itching and scaly skin.
- Those allergic to any component of a mask (allergic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, contact urticaria).
- Individuals with severe herpes simplex infections affect the mouth, nose or face.
- Individuals with acute and uncontrolled asthma.
- People of Determination who have mental and psychological conditions.
Applications for a face masks exemption can be made at dxbpermit.gov.ae. All individuals with a medical exemption must be able to present an approved permit from DHA on request. If a permit cannot be provided, the individual will be requested to wear a face mask and, if they are not willing to do so, required to leave the site.
Temporary removal of masks
There are many situations where visitors are permitted to remove their face masks temporarily. In these cases, masks should only be removed for a short period, with the social distancing of 2 metres to be maintained at all times:
- Eating or drinking in designated food and beverage areas, providing visitors remain seated and stationary.
- Smoking in designated smoking areas.
- Undertaking strenuous physical exercise in designated sports and wellbeing areas.
- Taking selfies, or when being photographed or videoed by others. Where people are taking photographs or videos of others the photographer or videographer should be wearing a mask at all times.
Visitors are responsible for complying with any instructions provided to protect their health and safety and must ensure that social distancing requirements are followed. The following measures will be implemented to manage the capacity of venues and ensure social distancing:
- All visitors must maintain a minimum of 2 metres of social distancing and comply with venue capacity limits unless they are part of a bubble.
- Capacity limits for venues established, with signage to indicate the maximum number of visitors permitted in venues and spaces, including common areas such as toilets and prayer rooms.
- Floor markings or decals are applied at locations across the site where visitors are likely to queue or congregate, including search and screen areas, food and beverage service, ticket sales points and ticket resolution points.
- Seat markers or decals placed on alternative seats and benches to enable social distancing, with a minimum of 2 metres distance maintained between tables and seats, where possible.
- Capacity limits established in transportation, with regular monitoring of compliance.
Visitors in groups
Visitors in groups who arrive at Expo 2020 are required to comply with COVID-19 precautions, including social distancing requirements and venue capacity limits, throughout their visit.
- Visitor group sizes should not exceed a maximum of 15 people, not including additional individuals assigned within a support bubble.
- Visitors within a social or support bubble do not have social distance from each other and are permitted to sit or stand together at venues and spaces across the Expo site.
- Group sizes greater than 15 visitors should form sub-groups to ensure that the maximum group size of 15 people is not exceeded. Sub-groups should ensure they maintain 2 metres of social distancing from each other at all times.
- Visitor groups who require a group photograph exceeding the maximum group size of 15 people (for example encompassing multiple sub-groups) should approach the Organiser’s staff for support to ensure that photographs are facilitated safely. Specific requirements apply to the management of school groups.
Visitors should use hand sanitisers or wash their hands frequently with soap and water. The Expo team has provided welfare facilities with access to running water, soap and hand tissues throughout the site. Touchless dispensers are provided to reduce the risk of contamination.
Hand sanitiser units are established across the site, particularly where visitors queue or congregate, such as Pedestrian Screening Areas (PSAs) and food and beverage areas.
New tool to boost Covid safety
Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), the regulator of the healthcare sector in the emirate, announced on 20 October 2021, the development and deployment of a pioneering epidemiological modelling tool that will be used during Expo 2020 Dubai. Dubbed the ‘Expo 2020 model’, the tool was developed by researchers from Khalifa University in collaboration with DoH and ADPHC, to boost the visitors’ safety at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The epidemiological modelling tool works by assessing simulation scenarios that combine the expected number of visitors with existing knowledge of Covid-19 disease dynamics. Through this, the tool provides a dedicated working model based on key epidemiological data and information developed over the last 20 months by teams in Abu Dhabi, drawing on leading local and global expertise.
This will further allow the health authorities to predict the projected impact on the healthcare sector, assess needed capacity in a timely manner and generate the best healthcare solutions for residents and visitors in the event of an increase in the number of cases.
As stated by authorities, a model of this kind will not only safeguard the health and safety of communities but also enhance business continuity and minimise the impact of the spread of infectious diseases
What if someone develops COVID-19 symptoms inside Expo 2020?
All visitors who feel unwell while on-site must proceed to the nearest isolation room for assessment and COVID-19 testing, where required. Isolation rooms are provided at strategic locations across the Expo site supported by dedicated staff from Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS). Isolation rooms are used to host suspected cases for further assessment prior to COVID-19 testing if required.
Any visitor who becomes unwell on the site will be treated as a potential COVID-19 case. The following measures will be implemented:
- The visitor will be directed to the nearest isolation room for assessment by DCAS personnel.
- People of Determination will be permitted to have a family member or companion in the isolation room. o The individual must wear a face mask (consideration should be given to People of Determination or individuals with underlying health conditions that affect breathing) and be asked to wash or sanitize their hands.
- It is to be ensured that the areas the suspected case has been in are sanitized immediately, with particular attention to equipment, frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles and common areas, including toilets.
In the event of a confirmed case from a visitor, Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will lead on identifying and supporting close contacts in liaison with the Organiser. Any close contacts identified will be required to undertake COVID-19 testing and complete quarantine requirements as specified by DHA.
Further information on the specific patient pathway for visitors following confirmation of a positive case or close contact can be provided by the Expo team.