In a statement to the House of Commons on 22nd February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out how the UK will emerge from lockdown. Here’s what it means for events:

  • All being well, all events will be allowed by 21st June
  • Large indoor and outdoor events should be able to resume from the the 17th May (with limits on capacity)
  • Events will be allowed gradually as part of a “4 Step” rollout for the country
  • In-person meetings for work, training or education purposes can take place now, but only if entirely necessary, and if the venue can demonstrate it has followed COVID-19 guidance

Below is a timeline showing the key dates affecting events in England (there will be separate plans set out for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). We'll keep this post updated with further details as they emerge. Keep track @hirespace and follow the Safer Events - A Framework for Action white paper for practical guidance.

Table of Contents

1. The Four Stages
2. The Four Tests
3. Events Research Program
4. Social Distancing
5. So What Now?

The Four Stages

Step 1: 8 March, 29 March

Events updates (effective from 8 March):

  • Funerals of up to 30 people
  • Wakes and weddings up to 6 people
UK Government Step 1 Covid Response

Source: UK Government Covid-19 Response − Spring 2021

Step 2: 12 April (earliest)

Events updates:

  • Funerals of up to 30 people
  • Wakes and weddings up to 15 people (in venues that are permitted to open)
  • Drive through performance events allowed
  • Event pilots begin
UK Government Step 2 Covid Response

Source: UK Government Covid-19 Response − Spring 2021

Step 3: 17th May (earliest)

Events updates:

  • Most significant life events allowed (30 pax)
  • Remaining outdoor entertainment (including performances)
  • Some larger events allowed:

1. Indoor events, 1,000 pax or 50% of capacity

2. Outdoor events, 4,000 pax or 50% capacity

3. Seated outdoor events 10,000 or 25% capacity

UK Government Step 3 Covid Response

Source: UK Government Covid-19 Response − Spring 2021

Step 4: 21 June (earliest)

Events updates:

  • No legal limit on life events
  • Larger events
UK Government Step 4 Covid Response

Source: UK Government Covid-19 Response − Spring 2021

The Four Tests

Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against four tests. The tests are:

  1. The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully.
  2. Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
  4. Assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern.

Events Research Program

The Government has been working with representatives from industry and civil society to explore when and how events with larger crowd sizes, less social distancing or in settings where transmission is more likely (i.e. indoors), will be able to return safely. This includes sports events, music festivals and large weddings and conferences.

The Government will run a scientific Events Research Programme in the spring, including a series of pilots using enhanced testing approaches and other measures to run events with larger crowd sizes and reduced social distancing to evaluate the outcomes. The pilots will start in April.

Social Distancing

Ahead of Step 4, as more is understood about the impact of vaccines on transmission and more people have been vaccinated, the Government will review social distancing measures. This will help inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which rules on 1m+, face masks and other measures may be lifted. The review will also inform guidance on working from home - people should continue to work from home where they can until this review is complete.

So what now?

Continued Professional Development

The Safer Events Organiser course equips professional events organisers with accreditation and practical training for planning safer events, and is fully CPD Certified. The CPD Certification Service provides recognised independent CPD accreditation compatible with global CPD requirements, which will help the events sector to build consumer confidence in safe event planning. Those wishing to complete the training and accreditation can do so here.

Keep track of everything Safer Event related and by subscribing to the Safer Events - A Framework for Action white paper.

Planning Ahead

Flexi-Events

Although this recent announcement is a huge development for events industry, it comes with many caveats. Staying flexible is key in planning your event strategy for 2021.

Flexi-events enables you to access and switch between the best virtual event technology or effortlessly switch to a hybrid or in-person solution.

  • No fee cancellation policy for all events
  • No fee switching between in-person and virtual events
  • Priority access to flexible on-demand event talent
  • Super quick lead times to allow you to respond fast

To find out more book a consultation with one of our team today.

Stay virtual in the short term

Whilst holding live events is challenging in the earlier part of the year, consider hosting a virtual or hybrid event.

Maintain Safe Behaviours

Meanwhile, here's a reminder of the behaviours to follow to keep the R rate down. We all have our part to play in reducing the transmission of covid.

UK Government: How to Maintain Safe Behaviours

Source: UK Government Covid-19 Response − Spring 2021

References

Health Protection (Coronavirus, Local COVID-19 Alert Level) (Medium) (England) Regulations 2020” (SI 2020/1103). https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1103/made

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) Regulations 2020  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/684/contents

PM press conference statement: 9 September 2020 https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-press-conference-statement-9-september-2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Meeting with others safely (social distancing) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing/coronavirus-covid-19-meeting-with-others-safely-social-distancing

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can't do https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Bolton) Regulations 2020 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/974/pdfs/uksi_20200974_en.pdf

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020, Section 5, Statutory Instrument No. 684, 4th July 2020 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/684/regulation/5

The Explanatory Note to The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020, 4th July 2020 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/684/pdfs/uksiem_20200684_en.pdf

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations 2020, Statutory Instrument No. 750,  17th July 2020 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/750/contents/made

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) The Visitor Economy https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the-visitor-economy

Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) Performing Arts https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts

Disclaimer: We aren't lawyers and this isn't legal advice. We do not take responsibility for the content in this blog.  Always check with your lawyer.