The Meetings Industry Association has received formal clarification that business meetings and events for up to 30 delegates can take place during the second national lockdown, which begins 5 November and is due to end on 2 December 2020.  

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of The Meetings Industry Association, said: “Last night we received confirmation from the Department of Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) that business meetings and events may take place for up to a total of 30 people, if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the guidance and is COVID-Secure.

“Event spaces can be used for reasons permitted by law, including for education and training purposes where ‘reasonably necessary’.

“We know that the lockdown guidance is left completely to event owners’ and venues’ interpretation of what is ‘reasonably necessary’. However, having received this clarity just hours before lockdown officially commenced, it is likely to already be totally irrelevant to the majority of venues. 

“The moment the prime minister’s announcement was aired on Saturday evening bookings were lost, including those that would have been considered necessary. Most venues are closed and will now remain closed until 2021. Our focus must now continue to call for dedicated sector support and a firm re-opening date, so that we can start to re-build for 2021.”