In new guidance updated on 8th January, the government has further clarified what events are allowed within the new Four Tier system.

The events sector has been explicitly addressed by the government, but the restrictions in place currently make it impractical to hold most in-person events.

The tiers will be revised every 14 days, and the tier system will last until 31st March at least. Below is a summary of what you can and can't do. 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.

Summary by Tier

Tier 4

  • Large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted, this includes drive-in events.
  • Business meetings for work, training or education purposes can still take place but only where the event cannot be delayed, where it is not possible to carry out the activity from home, and if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed COVID-19 guidance.
  • Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for permitted reasons, including for business events where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary, or to provide socially beneficial public services such as Nightingale hospitals or food banks.
  • Conference centres and exhibition halls should remain closed for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining or banqueting.

Tier 3

  • Large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted, with the exception of drive-in events.
  • Smaller business meetings are advised against, but may take place with up to a total of 30 people if reasonably necessary - for example for the purposes of work that cannot be done at home - if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
  • Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for permitted reasons, including for business events of up to 30 where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary, or to provide socially beneficial public services such as Nightingale hospitals or food banks. Conference centres and exhibition halls should remain closed for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining or banqueting events.

Tier 2

  • Business meetings and events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows are permitted at a cap of 50% of the venue’s capacity or 2000 people outdoors / 1000 people indoors, whichever is lowest. This capacity refers to the total number of people per event and does not include venue staff. Multi-day events are not currently permitted.

Tier 1

  • Business meetings and events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows are permitted at a cap of 50% of the venue’s capacity or 4000 people outdoors / 1000 people indoors, whichever is lowest. This capacity refers to the total number of people per event and does not include venue staff. Multi-day events are not currently permitted.

 

To remember across all Tiers:

  • Social distancing restrictions apply to all events, and everyone must wear face coverings
  • Events must not contain social networking elements such as receptions. Private dining, banqueting events and corporate hospitality remain prohibited.
  • Event organisers should consider limiting the sale of alcohol at events; where alcohol is sold, all restrictions for hospitality venues must be followed.
  • If the nature of an event becomes primarily a social gathering then the social contact restrictions apply, and the activity must stop if it breaches them. This applies to things like post-work drinks or festive celebrations
  • Venues/organisers must follow all Covid-Secure guidance, such as that laid out in the Safer Events - A Framework for Action white paper
  • Multi-day events are not permissible
  • People who are working at a meeting or event are not bound by the rules on social contact
  • If venues have multiple, separate meeting facilities, these can be hired out simultaneously for separate meetings or events, if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance
  • Detailed rules on catering on events can be found in the Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services section, with further advice in the Visitor Economy guidance.

 

Here are some events that may be deemed “essential” (and therefore allowed across tiers):

  • exams for a group of students from the same school, college or university
  • mandatory or work-critical training courses, such as training towards a formal qualification
  • hiring a venue to provide additional office space where this is essential to allow safe social distancing of employees from the same company

CPD Training:

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.

Meanwhile, here's a reminder of the behaviours to follow to keep the R rate down.

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.