With the relaxation in Covid restrictions, many of the larger gatherings are now being rescheduled on event calendars.
For many of us this is a welcome relief, but although one many believe there is safety in numbers, attending busy sporting events, concerts, and other large gatherings is not without its risks.
Charnel Hattingh, Head of Marketing & Communications for Fidelity Services Group, who provide the security services at a number of high profile events and stadiums around the country, says besides remaining conscious of the usual routines and rules surrounding Covid, there are some useful guidelines to keep in mind when in a stadium environment which will enable you to protect yourself, your family, and your money.
- Firstly, always make sure you know where the exits are. If you have children, it is important they know what protocol to follow and how important it is not to wander off. “There are a number of Apps one can freely download these days on one’s phone so that is also something worth considering and always to remind children and young adults to keep their location on,” she says.
- If you have younger children you may wish to take a photo of your child on your phone before you even leave so if for any reason you become separated, you will have an up-to-date photo of your child and what he or she is wearing to give to officials.
- Pick your spot – in the instance you do get separated, ensure the whole family agrees on a common meeting place to reconnect. Cell phone signals are infamously bad in crowds so you cannot rely on calling each other. You should however ensure it is adequately charged and set to ring and vibrate.
- Give your child your details. If you have a younger child, give him/her a handwritten note with your full contacts in case you’re separated and they cannot find your meeting spot. At least they can then look for the nearest official who can assist.
- Trust your instinct. We have also all seen how crowds can become unruly fairly quickly so definitely consider leaving if the crowd seems to be getting out of control.
- Clothing matters. In these situations clothing does matter. Don’t wear loose clothing or accessories that could become tangled or pulled and everyone should ideally wear closed shoes and keep the laces tied to prevent tripping.
- Walk around a crowd if possible, rather than attempting to push through and if you do get caught in a moving crowd, walk sideways or diagonally across it to work your way out.
- Manage your time. Get to the stadium in adequate time to allow yourself time to get refreshments and find your seat early. Also leaving five minutes before final whistle avoids the exit crush.
- Finally, watch your personal belongings, particularly when in restrooms and when in the midst of a crowd. Carry important items in your front pockets and never leave bags or personal belongings unattended. Women should rather choose a purse with a zipper, button, or clasp closures, and a strap that hangs across your body.