Guidance for event organisers
Events 2021 season update
Following on from the government's 'roadmap' announcement about reopening the economy post COVID-19, Hastings Borough Council has considered its position in respect of events on its land.
There is a nervousness about large events happening here too soon. Hastings was badly hit by coronavirus in the second wave, with over 200 deaths.
As the vaccination program expands it is hoped that all adults over the age of 18 will have been offered their first vaccination by the end of July.
As a result of the above, the council's policy is not to allow medium to large events on its land until at least the end of July.
We are currently looking at allowing medium to large events to commence from 31 July. This is some weeks after entering step 4 of the government's road map allowing for some date slippage. Although social distancing is expected to cease from step 4 (21 June), it could be some time later if infections increase.
Events that have been booked in for the 2021 season have now been condensed into a shorter season. This means there is a reduced capacity in events for 2021.
As a result of some events being moved later into the calendar year and the ongoing risk of COVID-19, only existing events which already have a booking will be allowed until at least 1 November 2021.
This means that 'new' events, which the council has not already been notified of, will not be allowed until this time.Read Government roadmap
Ten steps to protect yourself, your staff and your customers
While this guidance applies to England, you should always consider whether there are local restrictions in place in your area. If you live, work or volunteer in an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where local restrictions have been imposed, different guidance and legislation will apply. Please consult the local restrictions pages to see if any restrictions are in place in your area.
1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment, taking into account emergency situations and any security risks. Share it with all your staff. Find out how to do a risk assessment. Keep it up to date as guidance and public health risks may change.
2. Consult with your local authority as early as possible. The earlier you do this, the more time you are providing to secure agreement for your event to proceed and any relevant licenses to be issued. Your local authority will review your risk assessment and can give you advice on how to manage your event whilst reducing risks to the local area. Find out if the local authority intends to convene a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) and how best to engage with this. If they do not intend to convene a SAG, contact the local Director of Public Health to discuss the event and whether any additional assurances are needed. Even when all necessary permissions are granted, your local authority can consider prohibiting, restricting or imposing requirements if they consider an event a serious and imminent threat to public health - so a good two-way channel of communication is essential.
3. Engage with neighbouring businesses, transport operators and Local Transport Authorities to assess any risks to the local area of increased visitors from other locations and potentially apply additional mitigations.
4. Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently.
5. Ask your customers to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.
6. Make sure everyone is social distancing. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your customers can follow and considering whether extra marshals are required to enforce this.
7. Let customers know that by law they can only visit in groups of up to 6 people (unless they are visiting as a household or support bubble which is larger than 6). Put up signs to remind customers to only interact with their group.
8. Increase ventilation in enclosed structures such as marquees, for example by lifting or removing side walls or using fans to circulate fresh air.
9. Meet NHS Test and Trace requirements by keeping a record of all your customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and displaying an official NHS QR code poster. Check Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace for details.
10. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should be isolating.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has also produced guidance to reflect relevant regulations including the Licensing Act 2003: www.local.gov.uk/covid-19-outdoor-events-guidance
Detailed guidance is available from the Events Industry Forum (EIF) for anyone who wishes to plan an event during these challenging times.
This guidance is to help employers, employees, volunteers and the self-employed, and their customers and attendees, in the outdoor event industry in England understand how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping as many people as possible socially distanced from outside of their household or support bubble, in line with the latest government regulations.
For organisers of larger scaled events such as festivals please see further information on our COVID-19 guidance for festivals page.
Guidance for event organisers