The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has updated its events guidance for both organisers and Local Authorities ahead of the commencement of the Events Research Programme (ERP).
The document, which provides guidance for events operators up to Stage 4 of the Roadmap on 21 June, states that outdoor events such as drive-in performance shows, food and drink festivals, and literary fairs can be staged from 12 April (Step 2) but social contact rules in England will remain the same as in Step 1.
From Step 3 on 17 May, all remaining outdoor events can recommence subject to meeting Covid-secure requirements including the social distancing requirement that a maximum of 30 can group together. For indoor shows there will be a capacity limit of 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower. For outdoor events, the maximum is 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower.
A special provision has been made for outdoor seated venues with a capacity of 16,000 or larger, where crowds can be safely distributed around the venue. Government will allow events with up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower.
The guidance states that event organisers should mitigate risk to public health by controlling attendance, limiting numbers to take account of the space and ventilation of a venue and implementing effective infection prevention and control measures.
The updated guidance is a lengthy document that can be viewed in full here. All event organisers, venues, suppliers and Local Authorities must work within the guidlines.
The key points.
Step 2 – Events from 12 April
Some public events can take place from 12 April, such as village fetes, agricultural shows, gardening shows, funfairs and food and drink festivals.
Events that are able to commence from 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 events that are likely to have more than 4,000 attendees should notify the Local Authority and should only take place if the event organisers can assure them attendees will be dispersed across a sufficiently large geographic area or will be sufficiently distributed throughout the day, so as to mitigate the risk of crowding at the venue and on public transport. Event organisers should follow Covid-secure guidance and must adhere to legal requirements.
The Rule of Six still applies, so any household or group attending an event may not exceed that number.
Hospitality is permitted at these outdoor events, such as takeaway stands.
Step 3 – Events from 17 May
From 17 May, indoor events and all remaining outdoor events can recommence subject to meeting Covid-secure requirements including social distancing.
All events recommencing at Step 3 will be subject to the following capacity caps: 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower at indoor events, and a maximum of 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, at outdoor events.
Events that are able to commence from Step 3 include those where people are likely to congregate in one area for the duration of the event, and are likely to enter or leave the venue in large numbers at a similar time.
Organisers must take reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission, completing a related risk assessment, and adhering to all legal requirements, including ensuring that those attending an event do not mix beyond what is permitted by social contact limits.
These limits for permitted organised gatherings will be: Indoors – rule of 6 or two households and 30-person groups outdoors.
The government has made a special provision for large, outdoor seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed around the venue, allowing up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower. This provision can be used by venues with a seated capacity of 16,000 or above. For events with mixed seating and standing areas including music, elite sporting events and non-elite/professional spectator events, the capacity cap will be calculated as 25% of seated capacity, irrespective of any standing capacity.
All spectators admitted under this provision must be seated and should not access the venue’s standing capacity to view the event. Where the crowds cannot be seated at a large outdoor venue for the duration of the event or the seated capacity does not exceed 16,000 the cap of 50% of the site’s capacity up to a maximum of 4,000 people will apply.
All capacity restrictions must be adhered to at any point throughout the event. For example, a venue can admit over 1,000 people in a single day, but no more than 1,000 people at one time. If an event runs over the course of multiple days, no more than 1,000 people should be admitted at any one time over that period.
Staff required to run the event are not included in this total.
Catering and hospitality is permitted in groups and with table service.
Step 4 – from 21 June
With appropriate mitigations in place, by Step 4, the Government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact and enable all events above the Step 3 capacity restrictions to go ahead. This will be strictly subject to the Government review of the latest available data on the impact of the previous step against four tests and the outcome of the scientific Events Research Programme, potentially using testing to reduce the risk of infection, subject to further evaluation.