COVID-19 advisory and contingency

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 lock down starting midnight 26 March, for 21 days, we have decided to reevaluate our protocols after this period.

Release date 2020/03/18

Since late December 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 by 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 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 communication 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.

Guiding principles employed to combat the spread of the virus, safety of all concerned and to make sure the event takes place.

  1. Planning and staff education
  2. Avoiding spread through infected persons
  3. Social distancing
  4. Redundancy
  5. Personal and occupational hygiene
  6. Compartmentalising event
  7. Signage

1. Planning

  • Without planning for every possible outcome and preparing for that, this event will not happen if the worst happens. Planning must ensure that this event takes place and proper assessment of all entered products take place during any possible scenario.
  • Staff will be trained to make sure all protocols are followed, and what to do if there is a breech.

2. Avoiding spread

  • All staff that have been in contact with a known person that 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 with in the previous three weeks will not be allowed to help with this event.
  • All staff and panellists will have their body thermally screened at 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 and asked to leave.
  • 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 meter of each other and all surfaces that the person that have been asked to leave touched will be disinfected.

3. Social distancing

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

4. Redundancy

  • The situation around staff and panellists health is constantly evolving, therefor we will make sure that there is at least two people on standby for every one person that 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 will be used when judging, and no panellist will receive glasses from another panellist.

Public rest rooms:

It is the responsibility of the property hosting the event to sanitize public restrooms every day, but it is the responsibility of all staff to take responsibility for general hygiene including wiping of surfaces, door handles and thorough washing and disinfection of hands throughout the process.

6. Compartmentalising event

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

These sub events will be made possible through two mechanisms:

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

7. Signage

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

Signage will include reminders to Wash your hands

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

These measures will be refined as more knowledge is gained and as the situation changes.