Guidance has been published which is designed to assist local authorities in ensuring that events are able to go ahead safely and in accordance with what is permitted at each step of the Roadmap. Key information is mentioned below for each step.

An event can take place at Step 2 (no earlier than 12 April) if:

  • All three of the following conditions are met:
  • The event takes place outdoors
  • Attendees are expected to arrive and leave the event in a staggered manner throughout the day
  • It does not involve attendees converging on and congregating in a site for a specific discrete performance or activity, such as a theatre or music performance, OR
  • It is a drive-in performance or show

This could include:

  • Agricultural shows, steam rallies, flower shows, gardening shows and events, literary fairs, car boot sales, community fairs, village fetes, animal and pet shows, funfairs and fairgrounds
  • Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performance events (eg comedy, dance, music, theatre and air shows). Attendees should remain in their vehicle for the duration of the performance
  • Food and drink festivals are allowed. To note: where the festival resembles an outdoor food market or outdoor hospitality venue, but if people are consuming food and drink at the venue, the table service rule would apply food and drink at the venue, the table service rule would apply

Events and activities that are able to commence from Step 3 include:

  • Business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, and private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality
  • Cinemas
  • Live performances (professional and non-professional/amateur)
  • Air shows, historical /battle re-enactments, live animal performances such as falconry displays at even

All events recommencing at Step 3 will be subject to the following capacity caps:

  • 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower at indoor events
  • 4,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower at outdoor events, and non-elite and professional sporting events

The government has also made a special provision for large, outdoor seated venues where crowds can be safely distributed around the venue. Read the full guidance for more details.

Capacity restrictions must be adhered to at any point throughout the event. For example, a theatre can admit over 1,000 people in a single day, but no more than 1,000 people at one time. If an event runs over the course of multiple days, no more than 1,000 people should be admitted at any one time over that period. If a single venue hosts multiple different events at one time, and the attendees of each event are separated for the duration of the event (for example, a cinema with multiple screens, or an exhibition centre hosting multiple business events), the 50% capacity cap will apply to each individual event, rather than the venue.

For those events subject to capacity caps, the caps refer to the event attendees only. Staff, workers and volunteers are covered by the work exemption so should not be counted as part of the capacity cap. This includes:

  • contractors
  • administrators
  • delivery staff
  • operational(such as reception, maintenance, cleaning security & stewarding and ticketing staff)
  • caterers and concession stand staff
  • presentation/production team
  • exhibitors, speakers, musicians and performers

Catering and hospitality

Permitted events at each step of the Spring Roadmap may provide hospitality in line with wider hospitality rules.

  • In Step 2, outdoor hospitality at events is permitted in groups of up to 6 people, or with one other household
  • In Step 3, outdoor hospitality at events is permitted in groups of up to 30 people and indoor hospitality at events will be permitted in groups of up to 6 people, or with one other household

In both steps, there is a requirement for food and drink to be consumed at the table. This means:

  • If the venue sells alcohol, then all food and drink must be ordered, served and consumed at a table
  • Where the sale of alcohol is not offered, customers will need to be seated when consuming food and drink, but can order and collect food and drink from a counter
  • If the venue is a cinema, theatre, concert hall or sportsground, then customers with a ticket to the event are able to collect food and drink (including alcoholic drink) to consume at their seats, rather than having to be served at a table
  • Where there is no seating available, the stall or outlet can provide a takeaway or delivery service. Takeaway food and drink cannot be consumed in the stall or outlet, or in an area adjacent to the stall or outlet, and customers should be reminded to adhere to safe social distancing when queuing for food and drink by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that customers can follow or employing extra marshals to enforce this

In Step 3, indoor private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality, are permitted. COVID-19 guidance for bars, pubs and takeaway services should be followed for these events.