Following the announcement that outdoor events will be able to take place from tomorrow, July 11, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has issued operating guidance for venues and event operators based in England.
It said that while it remains unlawful for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private outdoor property, businesses and venues following “Covid-19 secure guidelines” can host larger groups.
The guidance specifies that outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, will be allowed to take place provided steps to mitigate the risk of transmission are carried out.
It says that while event audience sizes would be subject to individual venue capacity limitations, individual groups, of no larger than two households or six people, should be kept separate in the venue.
Further measures include staggering audience entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas. It also advises that one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues should be established, and patrons should be advised against using particular forms of transport or routes so they can avoid crowded areas when travelling to the venue.
The guidance also states that organisers should take steps to ensure audience members do not need to raise their voices: “This includes, but is not limited to, refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult”.
The guidance states that the following measures should be considered to allow for the safe resumption of performances:
• A reduction in venue capacity and limited ticket sales to ensure social distancing can be maintained
• All tickets must be purchased online and venues are encouraged to move towards e-ticketing for help with track and trace
• Venues should have clearly communicated social distancing marking in place in areas where queues form and adopt a limited entry approach.
• Performances should be scheduled to allow sufficient time to undertake deep cleaning before the next audience arrives
• Singing and the playing of brass and wind instruments in groups or in front of an audience is limited to professionals only
• Performers, conductors, musicians must observe social distancing wherever possible
The DCMS said it is working with industry bodies including the Association of British Orchestras and the Musicians’ Union to identify suitable pilots for indoor shows. Projects include working with London Symphony Orchestra, the London Palladium and Butlin’s.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “We are working hard to get indoor audiences back as soon as we safely can, following pilots. Our scientific research project will also help speed up this journey.”