In this section
2.1 Top level considerations for all parts of the visitor economy
Objective: To provide top level considerations for managing customers, visitors and contractors.
Steps that will usually be needed:
Assessing the number of customers, or crowd density, that can reasonably enable social distancing within any space. This will vary depending on layout or usage. This will require taking into account the total floorspace as well as pinch points and busy areas.
For indoor and outdoor attractions, and business event venues, limit the number of customers or adjust the crowd density at any time. For example, by implementing timed ticketing or asking customers to book ahead where possible. It is an offence for a relevant business to fail to take all reasonable measures to require adherence to social contact restrictions (respecting all exemptions to this) when taking a booking, allowing entry and - once groups are within the premises failing to take steps to advise groups not to merge in ways that breach the rule.
Consider how customers and employees will move in congestion areas, for example doorways between adjacent indoor spaces and outdoor spaces.
Reviewing how customers move through and around the venue (indoors and outdoors) and considering how you could adjust the flow of customers and employees to reduce congestion and contact; for example, queue management or one-way flow, where possible.
Managing queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals or other businesses, for example by introducing queuing systems, using barriers and having staff direct customers. This may include using outside premises for queuing where available and safe, for example some car parks. Also letting customers know that they may need to queue in rain or colder weather and asking people to bring umbrellas/wear warm clothing.
Ensuring any changes to entry, exit and queue management take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled customers. For example, maintaining pedestrian and parking access for disabled customers.
Consider the particular needs of those with protected characteristics, such as those who are hearing or visually impaired.
Encouraging customers to use handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser (where washing facilities are not available) as they enter the premises to reduce the risk of transmission by touching products or surfaces.
Determining a regime for checking and refilling sanitation facilities in anticipation of increased usage e.g make sure hand sanitiser is being regularly checked and topped up in high footfall areas.
Reminding customers who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow social distancing guidelines.
Working with your local authority and landlord to take into account the impact of your processes, including queues, on public spaces such as high streets and public car parks and fire escapes outside and within the public realm.
Having clearly designated positions from which employees can provide assistance to customers whilst maintaining social distance.
Working with neighbouring businesses and local authorities to consider how to stagger the number of people arriving throughout the day; for example, by staggering opening hours which could help reduce the demand on public transport at key times and avoid overcrowding.
For any activities which involve passing objects around (e.g. in casinos or indoor attractions, specifically including environments such as laser tag) the following steps should be considered:
– Putting in place picking up and dropping off collection points where possible, rather than passing goods hand to hand
-Regular cleaning of these objects or replacement with new objects as and when needed
- Encouraging increased handwashing and introducing more handwashing facilities for workers and customers or providing hand sanitiser where this is not practical.
Where changing facilities and toilets are required, setting clear use and more frequent cleaning guidance for toilets, showers, lockers and changing rooms to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items, where possible safe fresh air ventilation is increased and that social distancing is achieved as much as possible, including for example by staggered shift usage.
Where a premises delivers a mix of services, ensuring only those services that are permitted to be open are available.
Providing written or spoken communication of the latest guidelines to both workers and customers inside and outside the venue. You should may want to display posters or information setting out how customers should behave at your venue to keep everyone safe.
Any requirement or recommendation for visitors or guests to wear face coverings when queuing or while inside the attraction/event or hotel should be consistent with the latest government guidance. Face coverings can be made at home and visitors should be signposted to the latest government guidance.
It is law for staff and customers to wear face coverings in retail and hospitality venues and private hire and taxis, except when eating or drinking (or because they are exempt). Businesses must remind people to wear face coverings where mandated.
People should continue to socially distance from those they do not live with wherever possible. The latest information on social contact can be found in the meeting others safely (social distancing) guidance.
It is against the law for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place in private homes (including gardens and other outdoor spaces).
Businesses and venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can host larger groups, if this is in accordance with the relevant guidance for their sector. Events for larger groups may also take place in public outdoor spaces that are organised by businesses, charitable or political organisations, and public bodies, provided they take reasonable steps to mitigate the risk of transmission, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance and including completion of a risk assessment.
Individual businesses or venues should consider the cumulative impact of many venues re-opening in a small area. This means working with local authorities, neighbouring businesses and travel operators to assess this risk and applying additional mitigations. These could include:
- further lowering capacity - even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue
- staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas.
- arranging one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues
- advising patrons to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue
Venues can permit indoor performances to socially distanced audiences, including drama, comedy and music, in line with the caps on the number of attendees in place at each tier. Performances must be in line with the Performing Arts guidance.
All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other. This includes - but is not limited to - refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission - particularly from aerosol and droplet transmission. We will develop further guidance, based on scientific evidence, to enable these activities as soon as possible. You should take similar steps to prevent other close contact activities - such as communal dancing - and reconfigure entertainment spaces to enable customers to be seated at a fixed safe distance rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.
It is an offence for a relevant business to fail to take all reasonable measures to require adherence to social contact restrictions (respecting all exemptions to this) when taking a booking, allowing entry and - once groups are within the premises failing to take steps to advise groups not to merge in ways that breach the rule.
Reconfiguring entertainment spaces to enable customers to be seated at a fixed safe distance rather than standing. For example, repurposing dance floors for customer seating.
Test and Trace
Continued opening up of the economy and public services is reliant on NHS Test and Trace being used to minimise transmission of the virus. In order to ensure that businesses and local services are able to remain open, we will be mandating that organisations in designated sectors must:
- ask at least one member of every party of customers or visitors (up to 6 people) to provide their name and contact details
- keep a record of all staff working on their premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details
- keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
- display an official NHS QR code poster, so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details
- adhere to General Data Protection Regulations
In addition, the hospitality sector will be required to ensure that anyone visiting pubs, restaurants and other venues provides their contact information or checks in using the official NHS QR code before being allowed entry to the venue.
Hotels and accommodation providers
Displaying an official NHS QR code poster and collecting contact details for NHS Test and Trace is a legal requirement for hotels and accommodation providers. However, if a guest chooses to check in by scanning the NHS QR code, they do not also need to complete the customer log. In this case the guest should scan the hotel’s QR code each day of their stay.
If the hotel or accommodation provider has different venues within it, such as a restaurant or bar, the business should display separate QR code posters for each of these areas. Guests can then check into these spaces allowing them to be sent notifications with public health advice if needed.
Any designated venue that is found not to be compliant with these regulations will be subject to financial penalties. It is vital that relevant venues comply with these regulations to help keep people safe, and to keep businesses open.
Designated venues will need to keep records of customers, visitors and staff for a period of 21 days and make them available when requested by NHS Test and Trace or local public health officials to help contain clusters or outbreaks.
You can find out more about these requirements in the Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors guidance
2.2 Providing and explaining available guidance
Objective: To provide links to relevant industry sources and specific resources for each part of the visitor economy
Consideration should be given to the sector specific guidance and resources highlighted below, where relevant.
The government has also published guidance on:
UKHospitality has a number of resources available on its website to aid reopening. Whilst it is not comprehensive, it can be used in conjunction with the links below to provide further information and resources for your risk assessment. This UKHospitality guidance is applicable to businesses UK-wide and adaptable to local circumstances.
Guidance referenced below from a trade body or association may include best practice documents, templates and more detailed sector specific advice on certain environments. Industry bodies may also be able to provide examples or templates to enable you to carry out an appropriate risk assessment.
2.2.1 Hotels and Accommodation
- Please refer to the separate hotels and other guest accommodation guidance document. Whilst hotels and other guest accommodation have been able to reopen, shared facilities (e.g. shared sleeping spaces such as dormitories, guest kitchens, and communal spaces such as TV rooms where social distancing cannot be managed within current government guidelines) should remain closed. Shared ablutionary facilities (showers and toilets) can remain open but should adhere to all government guidelines to minimise the risk of transmission.
- Accommodation providers following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can provide accommodation for a group of 6 people from different households to stay together in tier 1. No one should stay in a group of greater than 6 (unless from the same household or support bubble).
- Accommodation providers following COVID-19 Secure guidelines can provide accommodation for a group comprising a single household/support bubble in tier 2.
- In tier 3 and tier 4 areas, accommodation providers must close unless the exemptions set out in law apply. Accommodation providers should only open for those who:
- are unable to return to their main residence
- use that accommodation as their main residence
- need accommodation while moving house or attending a funeral or commemorative event to celebrate the life of a person who has died
- need to self-isolate as required by law
- need accommodation for the purposes of attending a medical appointment or to receive treatment
- are a carer of a vulnerable person or a person who has a disability and needs respite.
- need accommodation for the purposes of their work, or to provide voluntary or charitable services
- needs accommodation for the purposes of permitted education or training, including, where that person is a child, their parent.
- are elite athletes, their coach or (in the case of an elite athlete who is a child), the parent of an elite athlete, and need accommodation for the purposes of training or competition
- are visiting from abroad on holiday or for work purposes
- are being provided accommodation to relieve homelessness
- were staying in that accommodation immediately before the new Regulations came into force
- Accommodation providers may keep their business open to provide accommodation to vulnerable groups including the homeless or for the purposes of a women’s refuge or a vulnerable person’s refuge; to host blood donation sessions or food banks; or for any purpose requested by the Secretary of State, or a local authority.
- Accommodation providers both within and outside a tier 3 or tier 4 area may continue to take bookings from residents of the same tier area, as there are a number of reasons people may need to stay overnight (e.g. for work or for education).
- We encourage all accommodation providers to consider their approach towards guests from inside tier 3 and tier 4 areas.
- Accommodation providers should communicate to all customers, including those with existing bookings, reminding them not to travel outside the area unless it is essential (such as for work purposes or attending a funeral).
- For existing bookings, accommodation providers should give guests a chance to cancel their bookings if they intend on no longer travelling and staying at the accommodation.
- Accommodation providers outside of an area with restrictions may refuse a booking or cancel a booking from guests from inside a tier 3 or tier 4 area. The decision to refuse service is at the discretion of the business owner, and the terms of the booking contract may allow for discretionary cancellations.
- Any decision to refuse service should be done with sufficient notice to the guest, and we would expect any funds already paid by the consumer to be repaid.
- At the time when restrictions are introduced, if people are currently on holiday in a group including people who are not in their household or bubble and it is not reasonable for them to curtail their stay, they may finish their holiday as planned but should follow the new social distancing rules as much as possible. However, for those placed under tier 3 or tier 4 restrictions, their stay should only be as long as reasonably necessary and they should return home as soon as practical. They should make every effort to reduce socialising indoors outside of their household whilst in holiday accommodation in the meantime.
UKHospitality has published guidance which includes advice for hotels and accommodation, pubs and restaurants.
- Camping/ caravanning/ motorhomes and holiday parks - in addition to the UKHospitality guidance, which includes these sectors in more detail, associations such as the National Caravan Council, British Holiday and Home Parks Association have resources on their websites with advice and further information.
British Marine has information on waterways and advice on areas such as hotel boats and holiday boat hire.
- Self catering accommodation and short term lets - in addition to the hotels and other guest accommodation guidance and UKHospitality guidance, the Professional Association of Self Caterers; the B&B Association; the Short Term Accommodation Association and the Country Land and Business Association all have further information available on their websites
- Bars, restaurants, cafes and catering: please refer to the pubs and restaurants guidance, which also has advice on catering. The British Beer and Pub Association can also provide further resources and information.
2.2.2 Indoor and outdoor attractions
2.2.3 Business meetings and events
Education, work and training event hire
Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes. This includes, for example:
- exams for a group of students from the same school, college or university
- mandatory or work-critical training courses, such as training towards a formal qualification
- hiring a venue to provide additional office space where this is essential to allow safe social distancing of employees from the same company
This is applicable across all tier levels. There is no cap on the number of attendees at an essential work, education or training event and the rule of 6/single household rule does not apply to these activities. Permitted venues, including exhibition and conference centres, can hire out function and event spaces for essential work, education and training purposes. They must not host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets (other than where these are only attended by employees of the venue itself). All attendees must be socially distanced and venues/organisers must follow all Covid-Secure guidance - including where appropriate the guidance for office environments. And, if the nature of this event becomes primarily a social gathering then the social contact restrictions apply, and the activity must stop if it breaches them. This means that things like post-work drinks or festive celebrations must not take place in breach of the rules. Those participating in such a gathering could be fined, as could any hospitality premises that are hosting it.
Business Meetings and Events
Business Meetings and Events are permitted as follows:
- Business meetings and events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows are permitted at a cap of 50% of the venue’s capacity or 4000 people outdoors / 1000 people indoors, whichever is lowest. This capacity refers to the total number of people per event and does not include venue staff. Multi-day events are not currently permitted.
- Business meetings and events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows are permitted at a cap of 50% of the venue’s capacity or 2000 people outdoors / 1000 people indoors, whichever is lowest. This capacity refers to the total number of people per event and does not include venue staff. Multi-day events are not currently permitted.
- Large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted, with the exception of drive-in events.
- Smaller business meetings are advised against, but may take place with up to a total of 30 people if reasonably necessary - for example for the purposes of work that cannot be done at home - if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
- Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for permitted reasons, including for business events of up to 30 where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary, or to provide socially beneficial public services such as Nightingale hospitals or food banks. Conference centres and exhibition halls should remain closed for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining or banqueting events.
- Large business events such as conferences, exhibitions and trade shows are not permitted, this includes drive-in events.
- Business meetings for work, training or education purposes can still take place but only where the event cannot be delayed, where it is not possible to carry out the activity from home, and if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed COVID-19 guidance.
- Event spaces, including in conference centres and exhibition halls, can be used for permitted reasons, including for business events where reasonably necessary, for education and training purposes where reasonably necessary, or to provide socially beneficial public services such as Nightingale hospitals or food banks.
- Conference centres and exhibition halls should remain closed for conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining or banqueting.
If venues have multiple, separate meeting facilities, these can be hired out simultaneously for separate meetings/events if social distancing can be maintained, groups can be kept separate, and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
The government is permitting the measured reopening of business events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows in tiers 1 and 2. Event organisers and venues must complete COVID-19 risk assessments, and take into account all of the Covid-Secure guidance outlined in this chapter.
When organising and running business events, the wider rules apply in the following ways:
Meeting people safely
- People who are working at the meeting/event or are attending the meeting/event for the purposes of their work are not bound by the rules on social contact i.e. the rule of 6 in tier 1 or the single household/bubble rule in tier 2. However, people should attend larger events either alone or in groups as small as possible, should avoid mixing and switching between groups wherever possible, and should adhere to all risk mitigations identified for that event.
- People who are neither working at the event nor attending the event for the purposes of their work must adhere to social contact rules (i.e. the rule of 6 in tier 1 or the single household/bubble rule in tier 2). This may be the case if, for example, you are attending a trade show or exhibition as an individual consumer.
- Social distancing must be maintained between people who don’t live together, and all attendees should limit contact with others wherever possible — including with those working at the event where possible and appropriate.
Events must not contain social networking elements such as receptions, and private dining and banqueting events remain prohibited. Event organisers should consider limiting the sale of alcohol at events; where alcohol is sold, all restrictions for hospitality venues must be followed.
All attendees at the event must wear a face covering in exhibition halls and conference centres and in any other venue where the use of face coverings is mandatory. People are also expected to wear a face covering before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until they leave unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it. More detailed advice on the application of these requirements in different settings can be found in the government’s guidance for working safely.
For all indoor settings where the use of face coverings is not legally mandated, businesses should assess the use of face coverings by staff and attendees on a case by case basis. Face coverings should be worn where social distancing may be difficult and wherever interaction between people not from the same household or support bubble is likely to occur. Employers should assess the use of face coverings by staff depending on the workplace environment, other appropriate mitigations that have been put in place, and whether reasonable exemptions apply.
Event organisers should take all reasonable steps to ensure these mitigations are implemented (e.g. using signage, marshalls, and reminding people when purchasing tickets for the event).
These measures are intended to allow the measured reopening of the business events sector in order to allow activity such as business-to-business engagement or business-to-consumer trade. As people should still work from home where possible, we encourage businesses not to hold business events for the purposes of gathering staff if not essential, for example an optional staff away day.
The government will look to loosen these restrictions to allow more business events in larger numbers as soon as it is safe to do so.
Considerations for managing customers and visitors
Objective: To reduce transmission of COVID-19 and maintain social distancing.
Steps that will be needed will include:
Steps that will be needed will include:
Assessing the capacity of the venue/site to determine whether the capacity cap of 50% or the relevant number cap applies. This assessment must determine what the venue can safely accommodate to enable social distancing within any space. This will vary depending on layout or usage and ventilation. This will require taking into account the total floorspace of the area where the event is being held as well as pinch points and busy areas. Where a building is mixed-use, for example a conference hall inside a hotel or museum, the capacity of the area where the event is taking place should be calculated rather than the capacity of the entire venue.
Providing detailed pre-event registration details including a pre-attendance health check/questionnaire. Best practice is to provide a QR code for contactless registration and a reminder text message to all delegates reminding them not to attend if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.
Preventing the attendance of anyone who is symptomatic; has recently been symptomatic; tested positive for COVID-19; or if they are a contact of someone symptomatic or has been identified by the NHS Test & Trace programme as someone who has been a close contact of a case. See current guidance for people who have symptoms and those who live with others who have symptoms.
Taking part in NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers for 21 days. This will be enforced in law. Some exemptions apply. Check Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace for details. You should display an official NHS QR code poster so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details.
Asking customers to attend events in groups as small as possible. Taking reasonable steps to ensure that anyone who is not attending the event in a work capacity adheres to the relevant rules on household mixing relevant in each tier. Putting up signs to remind customers to limit contact with others wherever possible and to maintain social distancing at all times.
Avoiding the potential for transmission of COVID-19 during meetings, for example avoiding sharing pens and other objects.
Encouraging customers to use handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser (where washing facilities are not available) as they enter the premises to reduce the risk of transmission by touching products or surfaces.
Determining a regime for checking and refilling sanitation facilities in anticipation of increased usage e.g making sure hand sanitiser is being regularly checked in high footfall areas.
Ensuring that meeting rooms are cleaned thoroughly between users and the frequent touch points such as door handles and surfaces are continuously kept clean through an event.
Ensuring that social distancing applies to all parts of a premises where the meeting is being conducted, not just the place where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and similar settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing.
Ensuring that any theatre-style seating at conferences and other large events follows the guidance for seating in performing arts venues.
Preparing delegates that they may need to queue in rain or colder weather for example asking people to bring wear warm clothing in the pre-event communications.
Splitting delegates into smaller groups and colour coding the groups to control flows and manage staggered entry and exit out of rooms and staggered lunch / break times.
If serving tea or coffee to delegates, having a specific area where these can be consumed in a socially distanced way and using clear messaging that face coverings will need to be used after people walk out of that area.
Providing individuals with (or recommending individuals to purchase) a badge holder for business cards to permit easy identification and avoid exchange of business cards.
Increasing ventilation by keeping doors and windows open where possible and running fresh air ventilation systems at all times. Holding meetings outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms whenever possible. See below for more information on air ventilation.
Having socially distanced seating and/or spacing out any tables to meet social distancing requirements.
When indoors avoiding those speaking doing so directly face to face with other participants whenever possible.
Taking steps to avoid loud speaking or shouting, such as not using background music, and using microphones.
For areas where regular meetings take place, using floor signage to help people maintain social distancing.
Putting up clear signage to direct delegates to bathrooms and within communal areas. Make it easy for everyone to social distance so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your customers can follow.
Speakers and speaking panels are a common feature of business events. You should consider:
– taking steps to avoid loud speaking or shouting, such as not using background music and using microphones
–asking that all speakers wear face coverings when presenting and speaking and speak at least 2m from attendees
–cleaning microphones and podiums between speakers
–having static microphones on the main floor of the room for delegates to ask any questions, with the delegates cleaning the microphone when finished. A bin should also be provided for any used wipes.
Encourage contactless payments. Whenever possible, use online booking and pre-payment and ask for contactless payments.
Individual businesses or venues should consider the cumulative impact of many venues re-opening in a small area. This means working with local authorities, neighbouring businesses, travel operators and Local Transport Authorities to assess this risk and applying additional mitigations. These could include:
- Further lowering capacity — even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue.
- Staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas.
- Arranging one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues.
- Advising patrons to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue.
Meals and refreshments can be provided at business meetings and events and at education, work and training events. The relevant sections of the COVID-19 guidance for bars, pubs and takeaway services should be followed.
For smaller meetings, we advise that meals are served in the room where the meeting takes place. Food and drink must be consumed by attendees while they are seated, and attendees should remain socially distanced from those they do not live with whilst eating.
If serving tea or coffee to delegates outside the meeting room, we advise on having a specific area where refreshments must be consumed seated and using clear messaging that face coverings will need to be used when people walk in/out of that area. Delegates should not interact with people outside their meeting/event group.
If delegates are moving to a restaurant area for catering, or are having a working meeting in a restaurant or other hospitality venue, then the COVID-19 guidance for bars, pubs and takeaway services should be followed, including following table service requirements where alcohol is served, adhering to curfew restrictions, and providing clear messaging on the wearing of face coverings. Managing staggered entry and exit out of rooms and / or staggered lunch / break times is advised.
People must not meet socially in any indoor setting:
- In areas at tier 1 level – in a group of more than six, other than when they are with people they live with or have formed a support bubble with.
- In areas at tier 2, 3 or 4 level – with anyone they do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with.
There is an exemption to allow gatherings for work purposes, which is critical to enable people to keep working in the full range of working environments, but this does not extend to activities that are not strictly work-related, including for private dining or social purposes with work colleagues. If a work meeting changes into a primarily social gathering, then social contact restrictions apply, and the activity must stop if it breaches them. This means that things like post-work drinks or festive celebrations must not take place in breach of the rules. Those participating in such a gathering could be fined, as could any hospitality premises that is hosting it.
For larger business events such as conferences, exhibitions, conventions, and consumer/trade shows, hospitality outlets within conference centres and exhibition halls should follow the wider restrictions on hospitality venues. This includes:
- If the hospitality venue sells alcohol for consumption on the premises, table service must be provided. This means all food and drink (whether or not alcoholic) from these businesses must be ordered from, served at and consumed by seated customers. In tier 2, the sale of alcohol must be accompanied by a substantial meal such as breakfast, lunch or dinner.
- If the hospitality venue does not sell alcohol, but sells food and drink for consumption on or near the premises, orders may be ordered from and served at the counter but must be consumed by customers while they are seated.
- If the hospitality venue does not have sufficient seating facilities, food and drink (with the exception of alcohol) can be offered as a takeaway service. If it is not possible to seat all attendees, we advise on having a designated area where refreshments can be consumed standing. Where relevant, breaks should be staggered to ensure that as many attendees as possible can be seated to eat and drink.
- People should only sit or stand with the people in their group, and should remain in their groups at all times.
- Last orders must be placed at 10pm and the venue must close at 11pm.
In tier 1 and 2 areas:
- Theatres, concert halls and cinemas are exempt from having to provide table service to audience members who have a ticket and are planning to consume the food or drink in the auditorium, or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. Food and drink (including alcohol) must be consumed whilst seated in the auditorium, or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. Venues should take steps to reduce queues for ordering, ensuring social distancing is maintained at all times.
- This exemption extends to performance/screening areas within the premises of another venue such as a pub, hotel or holiday park. The exemption only applies to the specific performance/screening area, which must therefore be separate and distinct from the wider premises. The activity must be ticketed, and venues must have all relevant approvals and authorisations (e.g. licensing or planning) from the Local Authority. This means for example that a separate, standalone function room in a hotel could serve as a concert hall if i. it is set aside and designated for that purpose, ii. attendees are ticketed and iii. the venue has the necessary authorisations for hosting live music or performances. However, a concert performance in a hotel lobby or working restaurant would not be exempt by law as it is not a separate and distinct space, meaning that any alcohol would need to be provided via table service and in tier 2 accompany a substantial meal.
- Theatres, concert halls and cinemas may stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10pm. Where venues are multi-purpose, these extended hours do not apply to any area outside the auditorium or performance area.
- Hospitality services must take last orders at 10pm, and close at 11pm.
In tier 2 areas:
- Theatres, concert halls and cinemas are exempt from only being able to serve alcohol with a substantial meal, provided it is limited only to customers with tickets who intend to consume alcohol drinks in auditoriums or area of the venue where the performance / screening is taking place. This applies to performance/screening areas within other venues as above. Venues should also only serve alcohol without a substantial meal to ticketed customers during the performance and for a maximum of 60 minutes, which can be split either side of the performance or screening if required.
In tier 3 areas:
- Indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, such as theatres, concert halls and music venues will be closed to audiences. Drive-in venues will remain open to performances with audiences in tier 3 areas.
All performing arts activity should take place in line with performing arts guidance.
In tier 4 areas:
Indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, such as theatres, concert halls and music venues will be closed to audiences, this includes drive-in venues.
Private Dining, Banqueting and Corporate Hospitality
Banqueting, private dining and corporate hospitality events should not take place in any venue at any tier level.
If a venue can operate as a restaurant and has all relevant planning and licensing permissions, it can do so as long as all relevant guidance for restaurants is followed.The restaurant sitting should contain no elements that would create a private dining or banqueting experience; sit down meals for large groups should not take place and the individual tables should not be part of a larger event. In particular you must:
Seat customers on tables of up to 6 people (or larger if from one household/support bubble) in tier 1 and on tables of single household/support bubbles only in tier 2. People should maintain social distancing from anyone they do not live with.
Keep groups apart. Space out tables, consider using barriers between groups, and manage the number of customers in the venue. Customers must not be permitted to mix with any other table, including approaching other tables or sitting at different tables. Customers must not congregate anywhere on the premises pre or post dining.
Ensure all customers remain seated. Prevent social contact by ensuring customers sit down to eat and drink at the venue.
Make sure everyone is social distancing. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your customers can follow. Enable people in the same party who do not live together or form part of the same support bubble to remain a safe distance apart.
Ask your customers to wear face coverings where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.
Lower music and other background noise. Prevent shouting, singing and dancing in the venue by making sure music and broadcasts are played at a low volume. Private dining and banqueting events should not take place and there should therefore be no announcements, awards ceremonies or similar.
Take last orders at 10pm and close between 11pm and 5am.
The following trade associations have published guidance on business events, which events organisers and venues should make reference to when developing risk assessments for events:
The Association of Event Organisers will publish guidance specifically for exhibition, trade fairs and consumer shows to reopen
The Meetings Industry Association as produced guidance specifically for conferences and meetings venues, which is also wrapped into the wider UKHospitality guidance
You should consider the relevant sections of workplace guidance as well as relevant guidance on pubs and restaurants and the UKHospitality guidance for catering requirements
Outdoor events (e.g. including agriculture shows and festivals) are covered by events guidance drafted by the Events Industry Forum
Events taking place in heritage attractions/buildings should read 2.2.4 and follow through to Historic England guidance.
The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your business but effective for managing disease transmission risks, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed.
People are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in any enclosed public space where there are people they do not normally meet.
2.2.3 Heritage attractions and buildings
DCMS and Historic England have drafted guidance on recommendations specifically for heritage or listed buildings. If part or all of your business includes heritage assets or listed buildings, please also refer to this for guidance to enable you to open and operate.
2.3 Overarching security considerations
Adapting to COVID-19 measures will inevitably result in changes to operating policies, processes and procedures of accommodation providers, indoor and outdoor attractions and business event centres and venues. Any changes should always be considered alongside security implications. If you have a security department or manager, they should be consulted to help ensure good security is maintained as far as possible and that there are no unintended security consequences as a result of changes. This should be achieved by conducting a security risk assessment.
Specific examples of where security implications may arise are: queueing, search and screening (where this has been directed by a wider government policy on security), maintaining vigilance for potential threats, and access controls. There may be others that your organisation will need to consider.
2.3.1 Queues and social distancing
Whilst dense crowding is unlikely if social distancing is operating correctly, the revised layout of spaces may present new security risks, particularly where multiple queues are created.
- Operators should try and organise queuing within existing protected areas; Operators should NOT remove any security features or useful street furniture items without considering protective security in the round.
- If queuing is only possible outside of protected areas then consider and mitigate the vulnerabilities by: routing queues behind permanent physical structures (e.g. street furniture, bollards, trolley parks and bike racks) to provide a visual deterrent and delay; closing off vehicle access to shared spaces; adjusting servicing and delivery times; reducing the opportunities for vehicles (including potentially hostile vehicles) to interact with pedestrians; erecting robust barriers; introducing a reduced speed limit or traffic calming measures.
- Operators should be careful to avoid giving credible, detailed information that could help a hostile entity identify an attractive target and carry out an attack. In particular, this should not be included in detailed risk assessments published on public websites under Section 1.2. Be mindful of messaging, both at the site and particularly on-line, which covers detailed information about queue locations and times, the number of people expected, and suggesting removal of security features such as street furniture, bollards etc.
2.3.2 Search and screening
- Conduct of physical search and screening of staff, contractors and visitors may need adapting in order to adhere to social distancing measures.
- To maintain effective security and deterrence, search and screening should still be conducted as appropriate and in line with the organisation’s policies.
- Ensure security staff are and feel safe. For example, having access to hand-washing facilities, and that they are able and confident to raise any concerns.
- The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) has published guidance on adapting existing search and screening processes to take account of physical distancing. Details are also available from your local Police Counter Terrorism Security Advisor (CTSA), which are available online.
2.3.3. Staff, security officers and stewarding
It is vital for staff to remain vigilant and act on potential security threats including terrorism and wider criminality. It is advised to:
- Continue to ensure that awareness of security threats is raised alongside safety and health risks through staff briefings.
- Whilst stewards and security officers may be focused on managing people and queues for COVID-19 safety reasons, they should continue to remain vigilant for and report any suspicious activity as soon as possible.
- Ideally consider providing separate stewarding to manage the social distancing and other safety aspects to enable your security staff to focus on their core responsibilities to keep the site safe from threats.
- Ensure there is a good communication system in place to inform people of any incident. Carry out a short exercise or test to check procedures and equipment for this are working correctly.
2.3.4 Restricted entry points
- Restricted access entry points, such as those facilitated by keypad, biometrics and/or pass should remain fully in operation. They should not be deactivated.
- Pin pads and biometrics should be highlighted as “touch points” and cleaned regularly (note: generally, they are touched less than door handles)
- Access control (staff) proximity cards will work up to 10cm from the reader. Staff can be informed that there is no need to physically touch the card on the reader.