The Spiel’21 starts on Thursday in Essen. Strict Corona requirements apply to the trade fair. Here visitors can find out what they need to be aware of.
Spiel’21 is the first public exhibition to open in Essen after the outbreak of the corona pandemic on Thursday (October 14). However, it is not a return to the usual normality in the trade fair business. Visitors have to adhere to strict Corona rules, some of which go beyond the applicable Corona Protection Ordinance in North Rhine-Westphalia.
“We want a safe trade fair where everyone feels comfortable,” says the managing director of the Friedhelm Merz publishing house, Dominique Metzler, explaining the procedure. Most exhibitors would welcome the stricter requirements and, with a few exceptions, there was also a lot of encouragement on social media, she said.
The 3-G rule at the game fair, children also need a test
The hygiene concept for the game fair initially provides for the 3-G rule. This means that only those who have been vaccinated, recovered or tested are admitted. Children aged six and over also need a negative test if they have not been vaccinated or have recovered. The student ID as proof that you are regularly tested in school is not sufficient. “After all, it’s the autumn break,” says Metzler.
“Game ’21” – The dice can be rolled again at Messe Essen. In order to enable visitors to take a quick test on site, there is a test center at the game fair. It is operated by the Essen pharmacist Peter Ricken and is located between the entrance to parking lot P 6 and the passage to Hall 1 A. A quick test, which adults have to pay for themselves from Monday (October 11), costs 15 euros there.
In order to avoid waiting times, Metzler recommends booking an appointment in advance or using one of the surrounding test options. Corresponding offers are on the Website of the game fair released.
Mask requirement also when playing
Masks are also required in the halls and at the gaming tables. Certificates that exempt from the mask requirement, “we will not accept,” said Metzler. Too much “shameful” is being driven with that. Wearing a medical mask does not only apply to adults. The organizer also requires children from the age of six to do so.
However, the playing areas will not be as crowded as before Corona. A maximum of ten people are allowed to come together at the gaming tables themselves. More space is also planned between the tables. Although the Corona Protection Ordinance no longer limits the number of people in the halls, Merz-Verlag has its own limit. More than 30,000 visitors per day are not allowed in the halls. That is around 20,000 fewer a day than in the record year 2019. “We cap it voluntarily,” emphasizes Metzler.
Tickets for Spiel’21 are only available online
Visitors can only get their tickets this year buy online. There are no box offices. Since the tickets are personalized, they cannot be transferred to other people. Admission tickets and 3G regulations are checked at the entrance. Proof of vaccination, recovery or testing must be provided in the form of a digital Covid-19 certificate with a QR code. Visitors are also asked to have photo identification ready. It remains to be seen whether the procedure leads to longer queues at the entrance.
In order to monitor compliance with the corona rules, the organizer has significantly increased the security staff. “This means we have twice as much costs,” says Metzler, describing the effort.
Despite the difficult framework conditions, she is happy that the game fair can take place in attendance again this year after the mandatory break in 2020. Around 600 exhibitors from 41 nations will present the latest board and card game trends by Sunday. The visitors can look forward to more than 1000 new products and world premieres.
More information about Spiel’21
The game fair will take place from October 14th to 17th. The exhibition halls are open from Thursday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on October 17th (Sunday) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The admission prices have increased compared to 2019. Children from 4 to 12 years pay 11.50 euros for the day ticket. For adults and children aged 13 and over, admission costs 20 euros. There is also a service fee of 2 euros.
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