NEW ORLEANS, US – SCA has updated Entry Requirements for all 2021 Specialty Coffee Expo exhibitors and attendees. “We are committed to delivering an excellent experience for the specialty coffee community while prioritizing the health and safety of our exhibitors, attendees, and staff,” says SCA’s CEO Yannis Apostolopoulos in a statement. “We continue to monitor the changing COVID-19 situation and the Delta Variant closely and have updated our Entry Requirements and Safety Protocols with guidance from state and local health authorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization.”
Will you be joining us at Expo? Please take a minute to read the updated Entry Requirements for exhibitors and attendees:
- Advanced Registration Only: All visitors must register online in advance. Ticket holders will collect their Expo badges on-site at the venue. Please note that both the venue and Expo 2021 will be cash-free and will accept only electronic payments.
- Negative Tests Required: Per the City of New Orleans latest COVID-19 guidelines, all attendees—including those who are fully vaccinated—must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test valid within 72 hours of badge pick up to enter the venue. Please see the City of New Orleans COVID-19 website to find a list of approved testing sites: https://ready.nola.gov/incident/coronavirus/testing/.
- Masks Required: Per the City of New Orleans latest COVID-19 guidelines, masks are required inside the Expo venue at all times. You may remove your mask when drinking or eating, but please be sure to keep it on before and after consumption.
Here are some additional COVID-19 precautions they are taking in collaboration with our partners at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
- Ventilation at the Venue: The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center’s ventilation system uses hospital-grade air filtration systems to help prevent the airborne transmission of COVID-19.
- Enhanced Cleaning and Hygiene: The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is accredited as a GBAC STAR™ Facility through the Global BioRisk Advisory Council, which means that the venue has established a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like COVID-19. Read the Convention Center’s health and safety protocols or visit our website for more details.
- Physical Distancing Guidelines: In addition to mandating advanced registration, we have reduced capacity in halls and meeting rooms, and have designated entrances, exits, and one-way aisles. For the first time this year, Exhibitors will have an additional installation day on Wednesday, September 29, to reduce congestion in the exhibit halls on Thursday and Friday morning.
- Sampling Regulations: Exhibitors conducting sampling in their booths must have a handwashing kit, face masks, gloves, and utensils when handling samples.
Visit the COVID-19 page on the Expo website to find more information on our COVID-19 Entry Requirements, our updated Safety Protocols, and for answers to frequently asked questions related to Expo and the US Coffee Championships: https://coffeeexpo.org/covid19-safety.
“It has been a tough year and a half, and we are excited to get back to business at Expo. Many of you may be wondering why we are not requiring proof of vaccination to attend. All SCA staff at Expo are fully vaccinated. We made the decision not to require vaccinations from attendees because many of our visitors come from regions where vaccines are not readily available. While we are not mandating proof of vaccination, we would like to encourage everyone who can get vaccinated to do so. For those traveling to New Orleans who have not received a vaccine and are eligible, we recommend taking advantage of the vaccination centers offered by the City of New Orleans at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and elsewhere in the city. The city provides free vaccinations and does not require proof of identification, health insurance, or social security number.
We have also heard concerns from some community members about the low vaccination rates in the State of Louisiana. While the state’s vaccination rates are comparatively low, the City of New Orleans has done a great job at getting the message out about the importance of vaccines and has now fully vaccinated close to 53% of its population, which is higher than the national average.
We know these are uncertain times, but we continue to work hard to provide a space for the coffee community to gather safely once again. As always, we are keeping a close eye on developments related to the pandemic and will continue to update our exhibitors and attendees as we get closer to the date of the show.
Remember, advanced registration, a negative PCR COVID-19 test valid within 72 hours of badge pick up, and masks are required of all Expo visitors. For more information on our COVID-19 Entry Requirements and Safety Protocols and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the COVID-19 page of the Expo website: https://coffeeexpo.org/covid19-safety.
We at the SCA, along with our partners at the New Orleans Convention Center and Freeman, remain committed to the safety of this event and look forward to a successful show.
The Specialty Coffee Expo may be a little different in 2021, but it remains the best opportunity for the industry to gather, do business, and make coffee better,” concludes Apostolopoulos.