The Guidance relating to Hotels, guest accommodation and the visitor economy has been updated in relation to business events and meetings.
Key points are:-
- Meetings of up to 30 people indoors are allowed in permitted venues if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate it has followed the COVID-19 guidance.
- From 1 August, exhibition and conference centres are also allowed to show small groups (of up to 30 people, with social distancing requirements) around to view the facilities and plan future events., and to enable government backed pilots to take place. They should not be open fully to host events more widely.
To reduce the risk of transmission during face to face meetings, safety precautions should include:-
- 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.
- Avoiding sharing pens and other objects.
- Encouraging attendees 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.
- 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.
- Holding meetings outdoors or in well-ventilated rooms whenever possible.
- Having socially distanced seating and/or spacing out any tables to meet social distancing requirements.
- When indoors avoid 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 the use of microphones.
- For areas where regular meetings take place, using floor signage to help people maintain social distancing.
Business events, conferences and events centres will be given the go ahead to reopen on 1 October adhering to social distancing, provided levels of infection remain at current rates,
In addition to interventions above, the following mitigations should be meticulously applied when planning business and consumer trade events:
- Crowd Density Standard: at a capacity allowing for compliance with social distancing of 2m, or 1m with mitigation (approximately equivalent to a density of 10㎡ per person)
- Controlled entry: staggering admission to ensure socially distanced arrival
- Managing queues outside the venue 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
- Controlled flow during an event: introducing one-way systems and timed tickets to control flow and alleviate congestion
- Providing floor markings, where appropriate, and signage to remind both workers and customers to follow to social distancing wherever possible
- Assigning appropriately distanced seating where events have a seated element and encourage seated events
- Ensuring that on site speakers are subject to restrictions on live performances – see performing arts guidance for more information
- 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.