News Item: Updated Events Guidance Released by Department for Culture Media and Sport

New guidance for events organisers and Local Authorities has been released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), just before the start of the Events Research Programme (ERP).

It's a requirement for all event organisers, venues and suppliers (i.e. equipment hire companies) to read the guidance, which can be viewed in full here.

Some key points from the guidance are summarised below.

Step 2 Starting 12th April

  • some public events will be allowed including agricultural and gardening shows, fetes, and funfairs
  • events that are able to commence for Step 2 are not subject to a capacity cap on attendees. However, DCMS expects these events to have fewer than 4,000 attendees per day
  • organisers of large events must notify the Local Authority
  • participants must be able to disperse over a wide area or have timed access to avoid crowding - both at the venue and public transport
  • organisers must adhere to legal and covid-secure requirements
  • attendees from the same household or group must continue to abide by the Rule of Six
  • hospitality such as takeaway food and drink stands will be permitted

Step 3 Starting 17th May

  • all types of indoor and outdoor events as long as they meet Covid-secure requirements may go ahead
  • events for business will be permitted, including gala dinner and awards, conferences, exhibitions and trade shows among others
  • events organisers must still take steps to minimise infection, maintain social distancing measures and abide by legal requirements
  • limits for gatherings will include the Rule of Six or two households, and groups no larger than 30 when outdoors
  • capacity restrictions will be in place, no more than 1000 people may attend an event at one time
  • venues hosting multiple events such as large exhibition centres will be subject to a cap of 50% capacity at each event (not including staff)
  • catering will be permitted with table service with table service

Step 4 Starting 21st June
Subject to a government review of all data, the legal limits on social contact will be removed and events will be allowed to go ahead with none of the previously outlined capacity measures. The outcome of scientific research carried out by the ERP will be a factor and further testing and evaluation may still be needed.

What has been made clear by the Government is, while Local Authorities have the power to put a stop to events in their area, they may not place a blanket ban. Events bring social and economic benefits to communities and as such councils must consider each case and fully assess the risks on a case-by-case basis. Likewise, organisers must be open and honest with Local Authorities, especially where elements of the event may require a cap on visitor numbers.

Considerations for Local Authorities include:

  • prevalence of coronavirus in their area
  • whether the right step of the Roadmap has been reached
  • risk assessments have been carried out and Covid-secure guidance followed
  • potential impact in the area including neighbouring areas
  • pressures on public transport and providers of local accommodation
  • attendees will only be from the local area
  • whether the organiser has run Covid-secure events before

Local Authorities are allowed to impose conditions, within reason, for venues and outdoor spaces where they feel there is a public health risk but every effort must be made to bring this up with the event organiser. The regulations covering health protection can be viewed here.

Source: Conference News