COVID-19 - Information for event organisers
Following the publication of the Government’s COVID-19 Response Spring Roadmap on 22 February, Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council are currently receiving many enquiries from event organisers of all types, requesting confirmation that their events can go ahead and seeking advice on how to make their event COVID-secure.
The Roadmap makes it clear that the dates set out are the earliest that the steps will be considered, in light of the data and meeting the four tests, which are:
- The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
- Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
- Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS
- Their assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern
These indicative dates are wholly dependent on the data and are subject to change if the four tests are not met.
Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council and other partners, including Wiltshire Police, are aware a number of groups, organisations and organisers are hoping to hold events this year, and we would like to support and encourage events to take place once they can be held safely. However, we are unable to offer any assurances that this will be likely over the coming months, and there is currently no guarantee that events can proceed as normal after 21 June.
We recognise that planning any event takes a significant amount of organising and expenditure to ensure it takes place safely and successfully. Due to the uncertainties involved and the need to wait for the data we are not able to offer any clear guidance on the necessary control measures or future restrictions that may still be place in the summer, to ensure that events are COVID-safe.
If you are planning an event, we wish to be clear that you proceed in the knowledge of this shared uncertainty. The council and other agencies do not hold the liability for any event not proceeding under any continuing restrictions – this is the responsibility of the event organisers. We do not currently have Government advice on the COVID-19 mitigations envisaged when we reach Step 4 on 21 June, and there is a risk that your event may have to be cancelled, potentially with little notice, to protect the health of the public in accordance with any regulations that may be in force at the time.
We recognise the benefits of the varied and diverse events that usually take place across Wiltshire and Swindon area, to both the wellbeing of attendees and to businesses. However safeguarding the health of our local communities and visitors must continue to be the priority.
In time the data and relevant Government guidance will become clearer but at this point it is right to highlight the risks associated with holding any events. We will of course continue to monitor the issue and update our website with the latest information.