COVID-19 organised events guidance
We support and encourage events in Barnet, recognising the social, economic and wellbeing benefits that they bring.
We must take additional precautions this summer, to ensure that all events are held safely and follow Government advice.
You should submit your application for an event as early as possible to allow the Council to review your application and risk assessment.
We also urge that you stay flexible and create a contingency plan to adapt or even cancel your event if the Government’s Roadmap is delayed.
We welcome events for the coming months, provided that:
- Event organisers follow all relevant COVID-secure guidance and a comprehensive risk assessment is completed. This guidance varies according to the type of event and could include outdoor events, funfairs, performing arts or sports events (full list in the full guidance section)
- Organisers and attendees follow all legal requirements, including group sizes that are permitted by social contact restrictions and preventing mixing between groups, enforcing social distancing guidelines, and mandating face coverings where required
- All reasonable action has been taken to mitigate the risk to public health, including displaying an NHS QR code and encouraging visitors to ‘check in’ using the NHS COVID-19 app, or maintaining a visitor log, at certain venues (visit GOV.UK to create a QR code)
It is important that a comprehensive risk assessment is completed as part of your application. This should identify risks and how these risks will be addressed. Consider how you can mitigate the risk of droplet transmission (sneezing, coughing), person-to-person physical contact (handshaking) and surface transmission (contaminated handrails). This should also answer questions, such as:
- Is the event permitted at this step of the Roadmap?
- Is it an event that is subject to restrictions? There are exemptions for organised sport.
- Has Government guidance been considered?
- What will the impact be on the surrounding area or infrastructure? Will there be queues and crowding outside the venue or pressure on public transport?
- Will attendees be primarily local, or will it attract a national or international audience?
- Have staff, workers and contractors also been considered?
The Association of Event Organisers have published a template risk assessment which you can use. You do not need to complete a separate risk assessment for risks associated with COVID-19, it should form part of the overall risk assessment for your event.
Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, with consideration given to both the risks and mitigations in place as well as the economic, social and wellbeing benefits that events bring. The Council will only prohibit or restrict an event if it poses a serious and imminent threat to public health that cannot be mitigated in conversation with the organiser.
The Government’s Roadmap
The Government’s Roadmap will determine whether an event can take place. You can find out more about each Step below, or more detailed advice on the Government website. Please note that the dates for each Step are indicative and are subject to change.
Step 2 took place on the 12 April. Events can take place in Step 2 if:
- All three of the following conditions are met:
- The event takes place outdoors
- Attendees are expected to arrive and leave the event in a staggered manner throughout the day
- It does not involve attendees converging on and congregating in a site for a specific discrete performance or activity, such as a theatre or music performance
- It is a drive in-performance or show
We expect events to have fewer than 4,000 attendees per day, but this cap applies to attendees only as staff, workers and volunteers are covered by the work exemption. Social contact limits remain the same as in Step 1 – outdoor gatherings must be limited to groups of six people or two households, with no indoor mixing allowed unless otherwise exempt. The event must allow people to adhere to this guidance. There are different rules for organised sport, which are not subject to the social contact rules stated above, but events that are likely to attract spectators should not take place until Step 3.
Step 3 took place on 17 May. Events that can commence from Step 3 include those where:
- People are likely to congregate in one area for the duration of the event
- People are likely to enter or leave the venue in large numbers at a similar time
The social contact limits for permitted organised gatherings will be:
- Indoors: Six people or two households
- Outdoors: 30 people
- Organised sport is exempt from social contact limits
Events will be subject to the following capacity caps:
- Indoors: 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower
- Outdoors: 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower
There is special provision for outdoor seated venues with a capacity of 16,000 or above.
Step 4 of the Government’s Roadmap will take place no earlier than 21 June. With appropriate mitigations in place, the Government aims to remove all legal limits on social contact and enable all events above the Step 3 capacity restrictions to go ahead.