BID MEMBER UPDATE: Covid Passes now required for certain venues and events

Dear BID Members,

The Government’s Plan B measures to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant were approved in Parliament last night.  This means that from today, to enter certain venues and events in England people must have proof that they:

  • are vaccinated with 2 doses of an approved vaccine (or one of the single-dose Janssen vaccine) – to be kept under review as boosters are rolled out
  • have taken a PCR or rapid lateral flow test within the last 48 hours, (you should take tests as late as possible before attending the event, ideally within 12 hours. This will strengthen the protection testing provides.) or
  • are exempt from vaccination or vaccination and testing on the basis of a medical exemption or clinical trial participation

If you live in England, the NHS COVID Pass provides valid proof of your COVID-19 status based on your COVID-19 vaccination details, test results, medical exemption or clinical trial participation. A valid text or email confirmation from NHS Test and Trace (see the Reporting test results section below) can also be used as proof that you have completed a negative PCR test or negative rapid lateral flow test within the past 48 hours.

The venue or event where this applies is responsible for checking COVID-19 status. 

If you do not meet the requirements, the responsible person from the venue is legally required to deny entry to the venue or event. 

Each venue or event will have a responsible person who must comply with a number of obligations relating to the requirement to use the NHS COVID Pass as a condition of entry. 

This person should check where responsibility for data protection lies in their organisation.  You are the responsible person for a nightclub, dancehall, or discotheque, or other venue open after 1am with alcohol, music and dancing, if you are the venue manager.  

You are the responsible person for an indoor or outdoor sports stadium, conference centre or exhibition hall or any public hall, live music venue, theatre or concert hall, which meets the relevant thresholds, if you are the venue manager.  You are the responsible person for an event which meets the requirements if you are the event manager.

Venues and events where the NHS COVID Pass, or alternative proofs of COVID-19 status, must be used as a condition of entry are:

  • nightclubs, dancehalls and discotheques
  • other late night dance venues, where all of the following apply:
    • the venue is open between 1am and 5am
    • it serves alcohol after 1am
    • it has a dancefloor (or space for dancing)
    • it provides music, whether live or recorded, for dancing
  • indoor events with 500 or more attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as music venues with standing audiences or large receptions
  • outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as outdoor festivals
  • events with 10,000 or more attendees, whether indoor or outdoor, such as large sports and music events

Events are defined as including:

  • an entertainment, a performance or similar occasion
  • a competition, race, match or other sporting event
  • a celebration, ball, reception or other organised social event
  • a conference, presentation, business reception, trade show or exhibition, award show or a charitable auction

Organisations must take reasonable steps to make sure that all visitors aged 18 or above show an NHS COVID Pass, or approved proof of vaccination, testing, or an exemption, to enter the venue or event.

Exempt activities, venues and events

Activities in other hospitality venues, including restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs, do not have to use COVID-19 status checks as a condition of entry unless either of the following apply:

  • someone rents the venue (or part of the venue) to host an event which meets the criteria for mandatory use of COVID-19 status checks
  • the venue hosts an event which meets the criteria for mandatory use of COVID-19 status checks, and which is ticketed or paid for

The following settings do not need to apply COVID-19 status checks as a condition of entry, unless they are holding an event that meets the criteria for venues or events requiring mandatory use of checks:

  • museums or art galleries
  • theme parks and fairgrounds
  • other tourist, heritage, or cultural sites (including zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens)
  • recreation and leisure facilities (such as bowling alleys, amusement arcades and bingo halls)
  • sport and physical activity facilities (such as gyms, swimming pools, and skating rinks)
  • play areas or centres
  • casinos
  • cinemas
  • transport hubs and public transport
  • retail, including markets, shops, shopping centres, and supermarkets

If you are responsible for one of the following events, you are not required to use the NHS COVID Pass, even if the attendance thresholds are met:

  • communal worship
  • wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and equivalents (including alternative wedding ceremonies)
  • receptions celebrating a wedding or other significant life event (like a christening, bar and bat mitzvah or mehndi ceremony) that are organised by an individual (and not a business, a charitable, benevolent, or philanthropic institution or a public body).
  • funerals and commemorative events (except where commemorative events are held in a nightclub)
  • outdoor events in public spaces where these are unticketed and not charged for (such as markets, street parties, protests and carnivals)
  • events in private houses (including private gardens) where people do not have to pay or hold a ticket to enter

Under 18s to not have to show their COVID-19 status but should be counted towards attendance thresholds.

More information for organisations, venues and businesses affected can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/carrying-out-mandatory-covid-19-status-checks-at-your-venue-or-event and more information for the public can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-covid-pass

Keep up to date with other BID news on our BID member update page: https://www.blackburnbid.co.uk/blackburn-bid-business-news/

©2022 Blackburn BID

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