The BADA Webinar will be available to view again very soon via the BADA website. Meanwhile, following the extensive discussions held in the Webinar please note the following latest ‘Events Industry’ advice.
COVID Passport Consultation
The government is reviewing whether COVID-status certification could play a role in reopening our economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety. Such certification would be available both to vaccinated people and to unvaccinated people who have been tested. As part of this the Government is undertaking a short, 2 week consultation on the ethical, equalities, privacy, legal and operational aspects of a potential certification scheme, and what limits, if any, should be placed on organisations using certification. Details can be found here
Event Pilots (Event Research Programme)
There has been a lot of speculation about the pilot events that the Government is planning. DCMS has now written to confirm the current situation as follows: “We have so far only announced that the F.A cup final at Wembley stadium on May 15, and the world snooker championships at the Crucible theatre in Sheffield, which conclude on May 3, will be pilot events. The pilots will not be just sporting events and we have supplemented these via our partnership with Liverpool City Council (‘Project Encore’) to ensure the events represent a comprehensive range of settings. Over the coming weeks the research programme’s board will continue to assess which types of events and settings will be most suitable for establishing an evidence base, following the criteria set by our Science Board. The shortlist of pilot events takes into account a range of requirements needed to test different science-led criteria, including but not limited to indoor and outdoor settings, small and large venues, seated and standing events, different forms of audience participation, transport to events, duration, and ventilation.”
We understand that industry representatives will be invited to join a task force overseeing these pilots, although details have yet to be announced. BADA has offered support to the Govt test events research. As the results of the pilots are not due to be presented to Ministers until the end of May, it is however likely to be early June before new guidance based on the outcomes is available.
Insurance and Cancellations
We are continuing to press the Government for insurance support to enable events to go ahead this summer but we need as much evidence as possible to press this case. BADA has already submitted evidence. If you are forced to cancel due, please do let us know so that we can build the case to present to Ministers.
Concerns about over optimism
Broad advice to organisers is to plan cautiously for events this summer as there may still be some restrictions in place. The final reopening date of 21st June remains a ‘not before date’ and, for events and thus very much dependent on the outcome of the Government’s Event Research Programme. Furthermore, there is still little certainty over the future of social distancing with this subject to a separate Government review. The best advice currently is to plan events on the basis that some form of social restrictions may still be in place.
Supplier Financial Support
Suppliers to the event sector have had a raw deal from the Government in terms of financial support but some may find the top up to the Additional Restrictions Grants in England offer some respite as they should be treated as eligible. Who is supported is left to the discretion of local councils, but guidance has recently been updated to say:
Paragraph 27: Local Authorities are encouraged to support businesses from all sectors that may have been severely impacted by restrictions, but are not eligible for the Restart Grant scheme. This may include, but is not limited to, group travel and tour operators, other tourism businesses (including B&Bs and event industry suppliers), wholesalers, English language schools, breweries, freelance and mobile businesses (including caterers, events, hair, beauty and wedding related businesses), wraparound care providers, and other businesses that may have not received other grant funding. This list is not directive nor exhaustive, and Local Authorities should continue to issue grants at their discretion, based on local economic needs.
A tip that seems to help is to also speak to your local councillor as this seems to get a better response. You can find out more at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant
Accommodation and Performing Arts Guidance Updated (England)
The hotels and other guest accommodation and performing arts sections of the working safely during coronavirus guidance have been updated with a shorter format focussing on actions to make workplaces COVID-Secure and updated guidance covering Step 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown.