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Exactly how and when can Meetings & Events resume

15 Mar 20212m read

The Government’s “Roadmap” out of lockdown was published on 22nd February, and since then there have been some further ‘’clarifications’.  Our understanding of the latest update on what is permitted with regard to meetings and events is as follows;

Right Now:

“In-person meetings for work, training or education purposes can still take place but only where it is not possible to carry out the activity from home, and if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed COVID-19 guidance. People should only attend a business meeting in person if it is necessary for them to be there – social meetings with work colleagues should not happen. Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes, where these events cannot reasonably be conducted remotely in Step 1 and 2“ (email from the Meetings Industry Association on the 02/03/21.)

From the 12th April

Hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors and there will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks and no curfew, although customers must order, eat, and drink while seated (‘table service’). Wider social contact rules will apply in all these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households. For private events, whilst funerals can continue with up to 30 mourners, the number of people able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15.

From the 17th of May (the significant date for the events industry)

Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues will be allowed with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number), and in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4,000 people or half-full (whichever is a lower number). In the largest outdoor seated venues, where crowds can be spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower). Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions, and wakes, as well as funerals. This limit will also apply to other types of significant life events including bar mitzvahs and christenings.

In other parts of the world. large live events are already happening.  Trade shows for up to 2000 have taken place in US cities Orlando, Atlanta, and Dallas and also in Dubai, Shanghai and Tokyo.

At a recent large Fashion Event in Orlando, attendees were required to provide proof of a negative test 72 hours prior to arrival or were tested on-site through a third-party provider,  and negative test results were indicated via a wristband required for entry. Temperature checkpoints with thermal imaging scanned everyone on entry to pick up elevated body temperatures.

Physical distancing measures were in place including widened aisles, open-concept booths and spacious open education areas on the exhibition hall floor to keep people safe whilst allowing for face-to-face interaction. Mask wearing was mandatory and and delegates and staff were equipped with detailed guidelines including air travel and hotel information and tips on minimising risks in out of work hours.

See link below to the GES Interactive Global Tracker which shows where live events are happening various regions of the world.

From the 21st of June

The Government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.

More specifically,  the Government at this point hopes to reopen remaining premises, including nightclubs, and ease the restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3. This will be subject to the results of a scientific Events Research Programme to test the outcome of certain pilot events through the spring and summer, where we will trial the use of testing and other techniques to cut the risk of infection. The same Events Research Programme will guide decisions on whether all limits can be removed on weddings and other life events.

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