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DCMS Publishes Local Authority Guidance

New events guidance just published for local authorities has been published by DCMS which aims to provide more clarity on the underpinning rationale for permitting events at each step.   The guidance says that local authorities should “not issue blanket bans” and should look at each event on a case by case basis, taking account of both the risks and mitigations as well as the economic and social benefits that events offer.    The guidance also sets out what is and what is not allowed at each step in the roadmap.

What does the Government's Roadmap mean
COVID-19 Response Spring 2021

Step 1 (8 Mar)

Step 1 is largely focussed on childcare and the return to education for children and some university students, care home visits.

  • ‘Stay at Home’ requirement remains
  • People can leave their homes for outdoor recreation with their household, bubble or with one person.
Step 1 addendum (from 29 Mar)

Some additional loosening of outdoor gatherings.

  • Outdoor gatherings of 6 people or 2 households will be approved, including private gardens.
  • Outdoor sports facilities may reopen, alongside formally organised outdoor sports.
  • ‘Stay at Home’ requirement ends, but work from home where possible.
Step 2 (no earlier than 12 Apr)

This step sees the opening of various facilities, addressing outdoor activities.

  • Non-essential retail (shops, hairdressers) and public buildings (libraries, community centres) reopen.
  • Most outdoor attractions and settings (zoos, theme parks) reopen – although wider social contact rules still apply.
  • Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances will also be permitted.
  • Indoor leisure facilities (gyms, swimming pools) reopen – for people on their own or within households.
  • Hospitality venues can serve people outdoors only. No meal requirement, no curfew, but must be seated.
  • Also some loosening on self-contained holiday accommodation, and numbers at weddings, receptions and commemorative events.
Step 3 (no earlier than 17 May)

This step sees specific measures relating to the return of outdoor performances.

  • Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.
  • Outdoor performances such as outdoor theatres and outdoor cinemas can reopen. Indoors, the rule of 6 or 2 households will apply (remaining under review).
  • Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues (cinemas, theatres, soft play areas), the accommodation sector, and indoor group sports resume.
  • Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is lower) allowed
  • Larger performances in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4000 people or half-full (whichever is lower).
  • In the largest outdoor seated venues where crowds can spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).
  • Also further numbers for weddings, receptions, wakes and funerals. and adding other life events, such as bar mitzvahs and christenings.
Step 4 (no earlier than 21 June)

Here we see the possibility of the return of large scale events.

  • Aiming for the removal of all legal limits on social contact.
  • Aiming to reopen nightclubs, and lift restrictions on large indoor and outdoor events and performances that apply in Step 3.
  • Possible decisions on whether all limits can be removed on weddings and other life events.

Click here to read the full government guidance: 

COVID-19 Response Spring 2021

Pages 25-26: the Four Tests (before each step)

Page 34 (Para 111): Opening outdoor facilities (Step 2)

Page 35: Socio-economic analysis (Step 2)

Page 37 (Para 120 b): Opening outdoor theatres (Step 3)

Page 38: Socio-economic analysis (Step 3)

Page 40 (Para 132): Opening large events, including music festivals (Step 4)

Page 40 (Paras 133-134): Events Research Programme

Events Research Programme (from April)

In Spring, there will be a series of pilots using testing approaches and other measures to run events with larger crowd sizes and reduced social distancing. The findings – from across different sectors – to determine a consistent approach to lifting restrictions on these events.


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Welcome to LAEOG (Local Authority Events Organisers Group the UK’s only organisation dedicated to supporting those involved in events working within local authorities 

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