The UK government has updated guidance for event organisers in England as the country moves into Step 4 of the COVID-19 roadmap on Monday.
The guidance details six key areas in which organisers and venues should consider creating a COVID-safe event for attendees, artists and staff alike.
While venues are no longer required to collect customer contact details, or keep a record of staff and visitors, they are still encouraged to continue to display an NHS QR code for customers wishing to check in using the app. Venues (or organisers) do not have to ask customers to check in or turn them away if they refuse.
In addition, events are not required to use the NHS app as proof of COVID-19 vaccination, negative test or proof of natural antibodies, but the government has said it will release further guidance relating to the app shortly.
However, the guidance does note that the government will “work with organisations that operate large, crowded settings where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of the NHS Covid Pass,” which is part of the app.
Health and safety assessments that include risks from COVID-19 should be carried out and staff members are being encouraged to turn people away who have COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition, venues will be required to provide adequate ventilation to make sure there is a supply of fresh air to enclosed spaces where there are people present. This can be natural ventilation through windows, doors and vents, mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both.
Venues will be required to increase how often they clean surfaces, especially those that are touched a lot. The government is also urging organisers to keep workers, contractors and visitors up-to-date on how they are using and updating safety measures.
The guidance comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed earlier this week that most COVID-19 restrictions in England will be lifted on July 19. The move into Step 4 of the COVID-19 roadmap means the live industry will be able to resume at full capacity.
The live music and theatre industries have “warmly welcomed” the announcement, with many planning to continue implementing their own safety measures, such as cleaning stations, face coverings and contactless ticketing.
However, enduring concerns over the feasibility of major events from a financial point of view were raised by LIVE chief executive Greg Parmley, among others.