By Our Reporter
As you are all aware, the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament is slated to commence on the 20.11.2022 in Qatar. For proprietors of social, entertainment places, like hotels, bars, night clubs, restaurants, open-air eating joints, it is a major opportunity for them to attract customers who want to watch live matches from the 20.11.2022 up to the 18.12.2022, when the finals will be held.
While there are no specific threats, identified yet, it is important that all proprietors and managers at all venues, consider the risks from those intent on causing wide-scale harm and panic. Several hang-out spots and venues remain attractive to terrorists seeking to attack publicly accessible locations, where large numbers of people gather. The previous attack of 2010, where 74 people were killed in bomb blasts, that went off in venues at Kyadondo and Kabalagala, where football fans were watching the screening of the World Cup shows that football watching venues, are potential areas of terror attacks.
Therefore, all Ugandans and visitors should know that, a threat environment still exists. However, as the Joint Security Agencies, we are doing everything within our means to prevent all kinds of terror attack on our country. As of today, 14.11.2021, we have entered day 363, without any attacks. We must, however, know that globally, terror threats especially from suicide attackers, are very unpredictable. No security measure, however, advanced can ensure a 100% protection against suicide attackers.
As a result, we would like to issue the following guidelines to proprietors of all venues, that will screen the FIFA World Cup, 2022.
· All venues should draw their security management plans in liaison with the area police.
· Ensure access controls at the venue, with entry/exit protocols in place.
· The duty manager, should possess the keys for the front doors and can secure them at any stage.
· Ensure sufficient staff numbers are in place to cope with the anticipated numbers of customers.
· In case of any trouble at your premises, call the police immediately and cease serving alcohol.
· In the event of trouble outside the premises, keep customers inside.
· Pass on any concerns, reports of disorder or breach of peace to the police.
· Make sure there is no excessive consumption of alcohol.
· Avoid overcrowding. Consider no more admissions if at full capacity
· Review access to your premises and consider restricting the number of entrances
· Check that all fire exits are completely clear and unobstructed. Your fire risk assessment should be reviewed accordingly.
· Consider the use of plastic glassware such as polycarbonate if necessary, particularly for outside areas and to avoid unnecessary waiting for service or lessen the risk of injury.
· When serving drinks in glass bottles, or use of glass, ensure that empties are collected regularly and any broken glass is quickly cleared away.
· Be aware that under 18s, may be attracted to watching events and matches in your venue, continue to be vigilant about preventing the sale of alcohol to them.
· Be aware of the need to prevent the use of illegal drugs.
· Think carefully about where the TV screen are situated so as to avoid potential congestion.
· For similar reasons, it is advisable, as far as possible to prevent screens being viewed from outside the premises by non-customers.
· If you have CCTV, ensure that it is fully operational with all cameras recording. It would be advisable that it operated 24/7 and not restricted to the manager’s office.
· Be sure to monitor and control smoking areas where appropriate, especially at half-time and at the end of the match
· Ensure noise is kept to a reasonable level for local residents, particularly if screening any matches outdoors.
· Consider making taxi numbers/late night transport/other transport information available, to readily assist customers in leaving the venue safety after late games.
· Ensure any counter-terrorism measures are reviewed and that staff are made aware of the signs to look out for.
· Ensure that any temporary out door structures for either screening the match or sheltering customers, have been properly constructed and remain, safe and secure.
· Consider the increased use of staff in outdoor areas during the screening and afterwards.
· Consider the impact of noise levels outside, with regards to local residents.
· Follow the health and safety protocols on COVID 19/EBOLA.
· Staff must be vigilant and confident to report suspicious behaviour without any delay. Remember terrorists like all criminals reconnoitre.
· Have a plan in place, incase you need to leave quickly. Identify the nearest exit that is safe
· Do not leave your drink open and unattended, or pick drinks at random. You have no way of knowing what’s in them
· For those who can not hangout, kindly watch the FIFA World Cup from the precincts of your home, on UBC TV.