SWAG and Swabs: Venice Film Festival announces anti-COVID-19 protocols

(ITALY) — September’s Venice Film Festival will look very different than years prior, and not only because COVID-19 has reduced the number of attendees and movies screened. 

Deadline obtained a copy of the rules the festival has put in place to keep its attendees safe from the virus, including a socially-distanced red carpet, mandatory nasal swabs, temperature checks and more. 

As the first major movie awards event to soldier on following the pandemic, all eyes are on the organizers. 

All guests will have to follow the protocols, the trade explains, but only travelers from outside the EU have to go through mandatory tests for the virus at least three days before they leave their home countries. Negative test results must be presented at the border, along with an invitation, before guests can attend. 

What’s more, guests from outside the EU who plan to spend less than 120 hours at the Venice Film Festival will have to get swabbed 24 hours after arrival; flunking it with a positive test “will result in confinement,” according to the trade. The festival will cover the cost of testing, Deadline also explains.

Spending longer than 120 hours buys you a third mandatory test, and while awaiting results, attendees are advised to socially distance, wear masks, and “avoid tourist activities.” 

Gone will be the usual scrum of paparazzi on the red carpet — a reduced number of photographers will shoot arrivals, around which the public will not be allowed to congregate or get autographs as in years past. Instead, the red carpet festivities will be broadcast for viewing both online and on TV.

Mandatory temperature checks will be in place, as will be hand sanitizing stations. The festival’s grounds, as well as hotels serving the guests, will also be sanitized regularly in accordance with new safety standards.

By Stephen Iervolino
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