Guidance for event organisers

The government has laid out plans of how the UK will emerge from lockdown.

The below guidance outlines what this means for the planning of events, which will be allowed gradually as part of a four step rollout.

Large indoor and outdoor events should be able to resume by 17 May, with limits on capacity.

If the easement measures go to plan, all events will be permitted from 21 June.

Key dates

Step 1 – 29 March

  • funerals of up to 30 people
  • wakes and weddings of up to six people

Step 2 – 12 April 

  • funerals up to 30 people
  • wakes and weddings up to 15 people (in venues permitted to open)
  • drive through performances permitted
  • event testing pilots begin

Step 3 – 17 May (at the earliest)

  • significant life events allowed (30 people)
  • remaining outdoor entertainment (including performances)
  • some larger events allowed:
    • indoor events, 1000 people or 50% of capacity
    • outdoor events, 4000 people or 50% of capacity
    • seated outdoor events, 10,000 or 25% of capacity

Step 4 – 21 June (the earliest)

  • no legal limit on life events
  • all larger events

How relaxing of restrictions is determined

Before taking each step, the Government will review the latest data on the impact of the previous step against four tests.

These tests are:

  1. if the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  2. evidence shows that vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  3. infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  4. assessments of the risks is not fundamentally changed by any new variants

Events research and testing

A new Events Research Programme is being developed to determine how to reopen events. This programme will run a series of ‘test’ events in the spring.

These events will use:

  • enhanced testing procedures
  • large crowd sizes
  • reduced social distancing

The data from these events will be used to form a consistent approach to lifting restrictions in future. The intention is that all testing and guidance will be completed and ready by the 21 June date.

The government are also working with Directors of Public Health to give them clear scientific guidance on how to assess the risks at events. Public Health England are working to agree a set of principles for consistency and understanding in this area. Further details are forthcoming.

Social distancing rules will also be re-evaluated as part of this roadmap phase. 

Planning ahead

Although this recent announcement is a big step forward for our events industry, it comes with many conditions.

We recommend when planning for an event during this period that you stay flexible. This includes:

  • including social distancing, and testing requirements in your plans just in case
  • creating a contingency plan to adapt or even cancel your event close to the launch date, depending on government advice