Thinking of attending WTM 2021? If Canada’s still on the UK’s amber list, you’ll have to quarantine
London, England

Thinking of attending WTM 2021? If Canada’s still on the UK’s amber list, you’ll have to quarantine

LONDON — After going completely virtual in 2020, WTM will be a hybrid event for 2021, offering two sets of dates for both in-person and virtual networking opportunities.

In a typical year WTM (now known as WTM London) brings together more than 50,000 travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media at ExCeL London convention centre. The worldwide travel industry conference generates upwards  £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts every year.

Canada is currently on the UK’s amber list  and Canadians must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.

Plus, as noted on the UK government’s COVID-19 website: “If you were vaccinated in 2 doses it must be with the same (MHRA, EMA, Swissmedic or FDA) approved vaccine. For example, if your first dose was Moderna your second dose must also be Moderna.”

More than 1.3 million Canadians were fully vaccinated with mixed-dose vaccines (i.e. a combination of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and / or Moderna).

The UK government’s site also notes that inbound travellers who can’t prove they’ve been fully vaccinated must follow the rules for those who haven’t been fully vaccinated, including a 10-day quarantine.

Either way, as long as Canada remains on the amber list, the 10-day quarantine is a must regardless of vaccination status.

The UK isn’t alone in its stance on mixed-dose vaccinations. But it’s yet another roadblock in these pandemic times to travel, much to the frustration of the travel industry. Earlier this summer Barbados quickly reversed its stance to accept mixed doses after extensive media coverage. Mixed doses are an issue for cruise passengers as well.

 

“MAY LOOK A LITTLE DIFFERENT THIS YEAR”

For 2021 the shows will be hybrid with the physical events taking place Nov. 1 – 3, 2021, followed by the virtual shows Nov. 8 – 9, 2021.

WTM organizers say the live event will be one of the first face-to-face gatherings for the international travel and tourism sector since COVID-19 restrictions eased.

WTM 2021 – both the in-person and the hybrid dates – will run concurrently with travel technology conference Travel Forward.

Says Simon Press, Exhibition Director for WTM London and Travel Forward: “We are eager to welcome visitors back to ExCeL as it is time for industry professionals to reunite to do business in person as the sector recovers.”

He added: “The new guidance for our industry, All Secure Guidelines 2.0, has been prepared by AEO, AEV & ESSA in line with guidance published by DCMS/Government. Our Team in London, and colleagues around the world have been working hard to develop our Stay Safe Guidelines in line with this.

“We will implement increased hygiene measures and medical safeguarding, while creating an environment for business to thrive again.”

All WTM attendees will verify their COVID status, by showing they have been double-jabbed, or have a negative test, or proof of natural immunity, so delegates can conduct business with confidence, he added.“Exhibiting at WTM London may look a little different this year, but it will continue to be the place where ideas are generated and new connections are made,” said Press.

“We urge visitors to prepare in advance to ensure everyone knows about the new practices and follows the science-based guidelines to safeguard ourselves and others. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming, but together we can overcome the challenges, bring our industry back together and see businesses growing again.”

 

SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Here’s a rundown of safety protocols for WTM 2021 …

  • Attendees will need to demonstrate their COVID-19 status by one of the following: proof of vaccination; proof of negative test; or proof of natural immunity.
  •  Admission will only be for those who register in advance and visitors are encouraged to use WTM & TF’s planning tools before they arrive.
  • Delegates can show their badge for contactless scanning, either on a smartphone or printout – and there will be no badge holders or lanyards.
  • WTM London will be a ‘mask-friendly’ event as delegates are strongly recommended to wear face masks, especially in enclosed or crowded spaces. Those using public transport will be required to wear a face mask on the Transport for London network.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the venue and elbow bumps are suggested as an alternative to handshakes or hugs.
  • The Excel Cleaning team have been trained to deliver new cleaning procedures before, during and after the event, including regular cleaning of all touch points.
  • Catering facilities will open in line with the latest government guidance and cashless payments are encouraged.
  • Exhibitors are reviewing stand designs to avoid enclosed meeting areas and create more open, ventilated space.