The Department of Health and DCMS have now clarified that attendees at most outdoor events do not need to give their contact details under the test and trace regulations.   This has now been clarified in the EIF/DCMS guidance.   Following lobbying on this by EIF, the Government confirmed:

  • Many outdoor events are not currently included in the scope of the Collection of Contact Details Regulations, unless taking place at a venue specifically listed in the Regulations, and as such are not required to display an official NHS QR code or ask customers and visitors for their contact details. These include, for example, agricultural shows, funfairs, fetes, flower shows, literary fairs, festivals and car boot sales.  
  • Event organisers may still wish to support test and trace by asking visitors for their contact details and displaying an official NHS QR code, but they are not required to do so. 
  • Any eat-in hospitality venues within these events (even if outdoors) are in scope of the Regulations and are required to request that all customers and visitors either scan the official NHS QR code or provide contact details, and must refuse entry to anyone that chooses not to do so. This applies to the area of the hospitality venue only – it does not change the requirements for the wider event premises.  
  • A full list of venues which are in scope of the Regulations and must display an official NHS QR code and request customer, visitor, and staff contact details can be found here

Some local authorities have been insisting that the contact details of all those attending events must be taken by the organisers – and, in some cases, saying that even the NHS QR codes are not sufficient.  This statement now clarifies this.

EIF links with LGA
The EIF and the Local Government Association have agreed to work more closely to encourage a more consistent approach to outdoor events in future.  Following a broad ranging discussion, the two organisations will aim to improve relations between local authorities and outdoor event organisers.    The LGA told the meeting that they are generally supportive of outdoor events being allowed to take place under COVID guidelines, although they recognise that some authorities and Directors of Public Health are more cautious than others.   The LGA is, however, seeking to encourage them to be more supportive and is willing to work with EIF to establish greater consistency of approach, both in terms of COVID and, in the longer term, by encouraging the adoption of the Purple Guide as the standard for outdoor events

Restart Guidelines
At Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, more types of socially distanced indoor and outdoor events are allowed.  Some types of events, including live performance events and business events, should have a cap on attendance of:

1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower – indoors
4,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower – outdoors

These events should be ticketed. Read the organised events guidance for more information on the types of event subject to these requirements.

APPG Discusses Certification
EIF, represented by NOEA CEO Susan Tanner, took part in a discussion with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Events this week to discuss the role of vaccination and testing certification in unwrapping events.  It was felt that certificates should have a limited life and should show vaccines, test results and immunity, although there was concern that self-testing could be subject to false readings and, possibly, fraud.   To avoid this it was felt that certificates should show whether tests were done by self-testing or by a test centre and whether they had been verified.     Any certification system would also need to be easy to manage at event access points, particularly at festivals where large numbers are in attendance and admittances already take time to process without the addition of certification checks.   Some green field sites also lack wifi which means that paper certificates will be needed in some locations.

The industry is keen to see a certification system put in place but emphasised to the APPG that it is needed urgently as time was running out.

Teressa Villiers, chair of the APPG, said she would press the Government for clarification of its position on certification and would make them aware of the timing issues and the practicalities of delivery.

EIF at Event Production Show
EIF Chair Steve Heap will be joining a panel to speak on ‘Growing Grassroots Festivals’ at the Show on 26th May at 3.30pm.   The show takes place at Farnborough International on 26 and 27th May – for details of the event see here

Support for Event Businesses in Wales
Businesses in Wales still affected by coronavirus restrictions will be able to claim up to £25,000 more in support to help meet ongoing costs. This latest support package will help those businesses, which remain affected by restrictions, to meet ongoing costs through to the end of June as they prepare for re-opening and more normal trading conditions.   This includes events and conference venues not covered by the Welsh Government’s Cultural Recovery Fund.  It also includes supply chain business, which have been materially impacted by restrictions.

An eligibility checker will open on the Business Wales website at midday on 17 May so businesses can find out how much support they are likely to be entitled to and how to apply. Businesses will be able to submit applications by the end of the month and they will receive between £2,500 and £25,000 depending on their circumstances. Funding will be calculated based on the size of the business and the type of restrictions they are under