Aphetor Games: COVID safety commitment

The next edition of the Aphetor Games is taking place in Rhodes between 11-16 July, with 30 social media creators – plus our presenters and crew – travelling to the Greek island from across the world. 

There’s still a lot of uncertainty around international travel; the Coronavirus pandemic hasn’t gone away, and moving across borders clearly has risk attached. As a responsible business we want to do everything we can to minimise that risk, and feel it’s important to set out the measures we’re taking to ensure the safety of our competitors, crew, and the people of Rhodes – as well as our own families, friends and communities at home.   

We’ve carried out a full COVID-19 risk assessment

Firstly, we have completed a full risk assessment by a qualified Head of Department who was present at the recce. It’s these very assessments which help us to set out the precautions we’re taking with regard to COVID-19.

Travelling safely and arriving well

As a production, the Aphetor Games is a place of work. So, we continue to take guidance from our own (UK) government and independent health and safety bodies, as well as following all the measures put in place by the local government in Rhodes. As it stands, crew and talent are permitted to enter Greece after taking all the measures required to comply with local laws, which includes being tested in advance and/or on arrival. This is the case for travel to Rhodes from the UK, the EU and USA – and return journeys. We’ve provided tests for everyone involved in the production before they travel to Rhodes. During the travelling itself, all passengers will have to wear appropriate face coverings. Any road transport we use, such as drivers or car services, must be able to demonstrate that they can socially distance passengers. It’s also worth noting that Greece’s safety and vaccination program has accelerated in order for the islands to be Covid-free before the rest of the country is.

Rapid testing and daily symptom checks

Rapid lateral flow tests will be made available to crew and talent to ensure that they are self testing before arriving to morning briefings and on set. If the result of their test is positive, then they will complete isolation until they are symptom free and have a negative test result. If it is negative, then, of course, they do not need to self-isolate. On top of this, we conduct daily COVID-19 symptom and temperature checks with talent and crew at the start of the day. Daily morning briefings will be held to regularly remind crew and talent to use COVID-19 PPE where required, and that if they suffer from COVID-19 symptoms, then they must immediately inform the production Head of Department and follow guidance on testing and self-isolation.

Ensuring a reduced risk of transmission through good ventilation

All Aphetor Games shooting locations are outdoors, thereby ensuring good ventilation and a reduced risk of transmission. Where possible, common areas and holding areas are also outside. Indoor locations, such as our hotel (which adheres to a strict COVID-19 protocol), are well ventilated. All of our edit and production crew members will be required to wear face coverings while working indoors (within the office, for example).

Plentiful provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Provision has been made in the production budget to provide for COVID-19 PPE and daily hygiene measures, which includes a plentiful supply of face masks, alcohol-based hand sanitiser, wipes, soap and water. We also provide clearly visible and spacious hygiene stations for hand-washing. The Hair/Makeup department will utilise disposable kits where possible, and kits will remain unique to each artist. 

Carefully sanitised, bespoke equipment

There will be a dedicated, contained area for filming and sound equipment, with access and handling limited to designated crew members. Equipment will not be shared. Where it is essential for equipment to be shared, designated crew members will follow a careful sanitisation procedure which involves regularly disinfecting before redistributing equipment to other crew members.

Social distancing will be maintained wherever possible

Our hotel venue for crew and talent is the Mitsis Rodos Maris Resort & Spa, which adheres to a strict COVID-19 protocol. When indoors (at morning briefings, for example), we will avoid congestion to ensure that social distancing measures are upheld. Any indoor locations that we do congregate in are in close proximity to toilets and wash basins. Where filming is taking place in an outdoor public area, cordons, cones or other demarcation and signage will ensure that the public is kept at a distance.

Presence of a COVID-19 supervisor at all times

We have a qualified COVID Supervisor to oversee and monitor the measures we’ve outlined above. This is a Head of Department with the authority to stop any unsafe working practices that are detected.

In the event of emergencies

All crew and talent will provide contacts for family or household members in case of an emergency. There will be a medic and ambulance services employed and on standby during shooting hours.

We’ll react to changes in the situation

If, however, significant restrictions are imposed in Greece, we will reconsider whether the Games should take place in the format we’ve planned. Again, it’s worth emphasising, the last thing we want to do is unnecessarily risk the health of our competitors, crew or the wider community.  

And we’ll post updates here

The past year has taught us that the situation can change quickly, so we’ll try to keep this page updated with the latest measures we’re taking to make the Aphetor Games as safe as possible.

We believe that life is for living, and after more than a year of lockdown we can’t wait to get outside, challenge our competitors, and inspire our audience to step out of their comfort zones. But, we’re committed to doing it safely.