When and How Spectators Can Safely Return to Events

As event security specialists, we know just how important the role that events play in our lives. From lively musical festivals bursting with feelgood atmospheres to football matches attended by thousands of passionate supporters, events are where we go to have a good time. Events are the place of entertainment and competition, and for many people, an escape from reality. That’s why we are dedicated to making sure that our event staff greet eventgoers with a warm reception and ensure everyone has a fun and safe time.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, events have unfortunately been scaled back or completely cancelled in the last few months. Large gatherings and situations where social distancing isn’t possible are deemed to be high risk. However, with the virus currently under control and risk mitigation steps in place, we are slowly heading towards a sense of normality. As it stands, the re-introduction of public events in the next few weeks will be the next part of the government’s plan to re-open the country following the lockdown in March.

Here’s a summary of the latest guidance regarding when spectated events can return and how they will return safely…

When Can Large Events Return?

Over the last few months, the government has gradually eased lockdown restrictions. Pubs, restaurants and non-essential businesses have re-opened as have beauty and leisure facilities. The message is no longer ‘Stay At Home’ but instead, the public has been encouraged to eat out at local businesses while employees are being urged to return to work at their offices. With increased attention on a local approach, as long as national infections don’t spiral out of control, the government looks set to continue the plan of easing further restrictions.

October 1st looks set to be the next key milestone in allowing society to return back to normal. From this date, the government will give the go-ahead for the safe return of spectators at live sporting events. Several pilot events have already taken place and more will continue over the next few weeks to ensure that the safety measures in place are successful in mitigating the risk of the disease. From October 1st, business events and conferences will also be allowed to resume. Outdoor events, such as gigs and music festivals, are already allowed as long as safety measures are in place. Indoor event facilities, such as nightclubs, carry more of a risk and there is not yet a date for when they will be allowed to re-open.

What Safety Measures Will Be in Place?

While the approval of public events is certainly a positive step, it’s important not to take it for granted. The whole world is still dealing with the pandemic and it is up to both businesses and members of the public to follow public health guidelines, ensuring that a second lockdown does not take place. The government is clear in its guidelines that large gatherings such as spectated events can only happen if it is deemed safe to do so.

The safety measures that will be put in place for businesses events, conferences and live sporting events will vary from one organiser to another. With such a complex situation, there isn’t a specific series of measures that are required. Ultimately, it all comes down to whether the organisers have taken adequate steps to mitigate the risk of transmission based on current government guidance. Measures may include upholding social distancing at all times, including when queuing or when seated, increasing contactless engagement, requiring face coverings, and limiting capacity. Organisers may also be required to record customer data as per the NHS Test and Trace system. Enhanced cleaning procedures will likely be recommended as well as the installation of hand sanitising machines. Other measures could include limiting access to local attendees, checking temperatures on arrival, or testing attendees for the virus prior to their arrival.

At Stage Security, we are delighted to hold COVID-19 Secure status. This means that we are recognised as complying with the latest government guidance on managing the risk of the virus. Should you require security for your business or an upcoming event, get in touch with us today.

Please be aware that this article is accurate as of September 8th. The current situation is ever-changing and plans for the safe re-introduction of spectators at events may be adjusted should infection cases rise. Stay tuned to official sources for up-to-date guidelines.

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