Update 9 April
Government has updated Local Authorities on how events can operate safely from 12 April 2021. The guidance is detailed and has the safety of the public at its heart.
We are currently working through the guidance and would suggest event organisers review the below council statement in conjunction with the latest Government guidance.
Statement 4 March
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have always put the safety and wellbeing of our residents first. As we work through the roadmap to the easing of restrictions, that commitment to the wellbeing of our residents will not change. Whatever we do the health and personal safety of our residents will be the main determinant of all our advice and guidance on events.
Licensed and non-licensed events such as festivals, flower shows, car boot sales or circuses, charity events such as fundraising fairs, organised sporting events such 10km runs, town centre events and even street parties, are all situations where people gather in crowds and where social distancing is difficult, if not impossible.
In the Government’s roadmap, key is the term ‘not before dates’ which are given for such events. However, we know many people are counting down to June 21 when social distancing may not be required, if all the tests and reviews can be met safely.
It is essential for us all to recognise that along the roadmap many important things need to happen before we get to that point.
The Government has said it will conduct research into mass gatherings and COVID-19, and the results of this research will inform the rest of the roadmap regards any possible scope for easing restrictions.
Considering all these factors, we are currently working through our own plan to help and advise our community on the safe organisation of mass gathering events.
However, until the Government publishes their findings based on the data at that time, we cannot give any firm advice regarding timings or what COVID-19 precautions will need to be in place if you are looking to organise an event.
If you are hoping to have an event in Elmbridge during June, July or August and beyond, you should review and strongly consider the following:
- The elements of the Government’s roadmap related to the events research
- The event planning timescales involved and any sector specific guidance issued by Government and/or the relevant sector.
- The potential need for two risk assessments and event plans - one based on COVID-19 restrictions being in place including social distancing requirements and one based on non-COVID restrictions
- The COVID-19 checklist provided by Surrey’s safety advisory group
- The licensing implications and timescales
- The implications and procedures required should the event need to be cancelled at short notice due to COVID-19 restrictions, surge testing, raised local infections rates or any other element involved in COVID-19.
At this time, we cannot accept any event dates as confirmed until we see how the Government’s roadmap plays out. Provisional or pencilled bookings may be accepted on the council's open spaces where appropriate.
We will update you in the coming weeks.