After a year-long hiatus, Karachi Eat is back. The annual food festival is being held at Beach View Park in Clifton from January 14 to 16.
Despite the country's Covid cases rising once again and the spread of the Omicron variant, organisers are hopeful the festival will go on.
East River, the company handling the public relations and digital side of the festival, laid out their plans to ensure Covid SOP compliance. Head of Special Projects Amna Saleem said they've partnered with HANDS to provide Pfizer booster shots at the festival. In order to enter the park, festival-goers also need to provide proof of vaccination.
There will be sanitiser available inside and patrons are requested to wear masks and practice social distancing.
In order to reduce the crowd at the ticketing booth, this year, the festival has partnered with TicketWala to allow for online ticketing. At past festivals, the line for tickets has been one of the most haphazard and crowded points.
Organisers are also operating four gates this year to avoid a crush of people at the entrance. There will be bathrooms and ambulances stationed at the site to allow for medical emergencies as well.
But the main rush has always been inside the festival itself. The organisers will also be relying on the festival-goers themselves to implement SOPs and good practices, like not crowding any particular stall and keeping a safe distance from each other. They believe that long lines will deter people from crowding anyway, as they will want to check out other options instead of waiting in queue.
The team has been in talks with government officials and so far, they're prepping for next weekend. If, however, the government decides that the festival cannot be held, the announcement will be made via the official Karachi Eat social media pages.
If you plan to attend the festival, here are some tips on how to stay safe:
- Wear a mask!
- Grab your food and find a semi secluded spot to go take off your mask and test it out
- Maintain a healthy distance from other festival-goers while in line
- Make sure to keep sanitising your hands